The District of Columbia Housing Authority staff is partnering with D.C. Department of Health and community health partners to vaccinate senior citizens living in DCHA properties beginning this week.
“DCHA’s partnership with DC Health to assist in the equitable rollout of this life-saving vaccine to COVID-19 is another way this agency is working with the city to ensure the health and safety of our elder customers,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “The senior population is most susceptible to this virus and we want to do everything possible to protect them. Bringing medical staff directly to our seniors to administer this highly effective vaccine safely in their own communities is an easy way to eliminate any barriers or health disparities in serving this vulnerable population.”
DCHA’s community navigators, property management team, and resident council leadership conduct outreach to seniors letting them know when the medical staff will be onsite and to register seniors for the vaccinations. Once onsite, the community health partners manage capacity, as well as monitor and track those people who have been vaccinated. The pilot will continue through February.
DC Health recommends all residents take the vaccine as soon as it is available to them. Currently, there are two vaccines that have received an Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine. More vaccines are still being studied. Two doses of each of the approved vaccine are needed with three to four weeks between each dose. It is important to get both does of the same vaccine and not to mix the two for it to be most effective. Clinical trials have shown both vaccines to be about 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
While the COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time, they are still being held to the same safety standards of all vaccines. The vaccines went through the standard phases of clinical trials and have been tested on tens of thousands of people from different races and ethnicities. Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines are pain at the injection site, fever, felling tired, headache, chills, muscle aches, and joint points. Most symptoms are mild to medium intensity and go away within one or two days.