Dear residents and family members,
We wanted to give you a quick update on progress with our COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans ahead of the Easter break.
We still do not have definite dates for when the vaccine will arrive at our villages, but you can rest assured we’re busy preparing and we will be ready to go when the time comes.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is approved, safe and has proven to be highly efficient at protecting people against COVID-19. It is a critical part of protecting the health of our residents, their families and our team and getting life back to normal.
The great news is that all our residents and our team members are eligible for a free vaccination as soon as it is available.
We think that everyone who is eligible should have the vaccine, and we are strongly encouraging all our team members to do so.
As residents and relatives, you can help by making sure that you have the correct Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) agreements in place.
These are important for residents who are unable to make a decision for themselves but have entrusted their loved ones to do so.
Everyone who is having a vaccine must have a signed consent form.
For those people who do not have an activated EPOA or who have not been assessed by their GP, as cognitively unable to make this decision, the form must be signed by them.
Activated EPOAs will need to sign for their loved ones.
Once we have firm dates for the vaccine programme you will receive information about the vaccine and we will be sending out consent forms soon. There will also be a phone number that you can call to ask questions and links to various resources.
You can find more information about EPOA forms here.
If anyone has any doubts about whether the vaccine is appropriate, they should speak to their GP.
The vaccination programme is an enormous undertaking for the Ministry of Health, so we have offered to run our own programmes using our own trained vaccination nurses.
We have included links to our We do it because we care campaign to support our vaccination programme, and to our latest information video. To watch the latest information video click here.
We realise you may feel like you are being bombarded with vaccination information from different sources, and some may be contradictory.
We suggest you keep one simple idea in mind. COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus which poses an extraordinary threat to the health of older people.
If you choose to get vaccinated it will not only protect you against COVID-19, it will protect your family, friends, neighbours and staff members in each Ryman community.
Have a great Easter holiday, roll on the vaccine programme.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the vaccine compulsory?
No, it is not, but we strongly encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated, does so. The more people who take part, the stronger our immunity will be.
Will your staff members be vaccinated?
Staff employed prior to April 2020 are not required to take part in our vaccine programme, but we have traditionally had strong support for our flu programme, and we think the COVID programme will be the same. Those employed since April 2020 have agreed to participate as part of their employment agreement.
Is the vaccine safe?
Vaccines have been around for a long time, and the science behind them is well proven. They’re the reason there is no polio or smallpox anymore! The vaccine has been through a rigorous testing and clinical trialling programme and has provisional approval by Medsafe in New Zealand and other authorities around the world. More than 200 million people have had the vaccine in other parts of the world.
Do I need one jab or two?
The vaccination is a two-stage process, the second injection boosts immunity. The second injection should be at least 21 days after the first.
What are the side effects?
The side effects range from a sore arm to feeling pain, chills and fever.
Can I still get COVID-19 if others get vaccinated and I don't?
Can I have the flu vaccination together with the COVID-19 vaccination?
No. There needs to be a two-week minimum gap between vaccinations. The flu vaccine is not available in New Zealand yet so the COVID vaccination should be complete before it arrives.
Will the vaccine be effective against the new strains of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom (Kent) and South African variants?
The evidence so far is that it is still effective.
Will it be free for independent residents?
How will we book a time?
We will let you know.