As we come upon Thanksgiving Day, Pocket Nurse wants to express our thanks that we have been able to meet the challenges of 2020. We have worked very hard to meet the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers, disinfectant cleaning supplies, face masks and shields, and protective barriers.
We encourage all of our educators, learners, staff, and faculty to hit refresh during the Thanksgiving holiday. A COVID vaccine is on the horizon, and in the meantime, continue to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Educators and students can’t completely rely on a vaccine, of course. Not everyone may be able to be vaccinated, and there may be people who decline vaccination. Since reducing the rate of infection to zero is not possible, other safety measures should continue to be implemented in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. These measures will help prevent the transmission of other viruses, as well, such as cold and flu.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights key aspects of back-to-school and back-to-work planning. Families, educators, and students can all do their part to minimize transmission by complying with the following guidelines.
- Consistent and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the day
- Educating students, faculty, and staff about personal protective practices, including hand washing, mask wearing, and disinfecting surfaces
- Separation of students during instruction and while moving throughout buildings and on campus
- Avoiding large crowds, especially indoors; the CDC is recommending that holiday get-togethers be single-household events this year
- Cooperating with local health authority contact-tracing plans in the event of a positive COVID-19 case
- Establishing a screening system to identify infected individuals
The cdc recommends face masks that:
As of Nov. 23, 2020, three pharmaceutical companies have announced the successful development of COVID-19 vaccines: Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZenica. It is very likely that each of these companies will be applying for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the CDC to start vaccine distribution.
“Although CDC does not have a role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, CDC has been working closely with health departments and partners to develop vaccination plans for when a vaccine is available.”
Here are six things consumers, healthcare workers, and healthcare educators may want to know.
- Top priority: Safety. The U.S. vaccine safety system works to ensure the safety of all vaccinations, and the vaccine for COVID-19 is no exception.
- Flexibility. With many companies on the forefront of vaccine development for COVID-19, the CDC is working with its healthcare partners to accommodate different vaccines and scenarios for distribution. The CDC is working the state, local, and tribal health departments to assist with planning.
- Supply. Before the year ends, the supply of a COVID-19 vaccine may be limited. But in the upcoming months, the supply will continue to grow. “The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available.”
- First in line. Because of the limited supply to begin with, it may be recommended that some groups get the vaccine before others. For example, children will not be the first to receive the vaccination, in part because clinical trials involved non-pregnant adults. Testing will continue to expand to be sure the vaccine is safe for more populations. It’s too early to say what the prioritized groups may be, but the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has provided input to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
- Cost will not be an obstacle. Steps are being taken to ensure everyone has access to the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, including steps to ensure it is affordable.
The Pocket Nurse® offices and distribution center will be closed Thursday Nov. 26 and Friday Nov. 27, 2020, for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will return to regular hours on Monday Nov. 30, 2020.