At FPG we are committed to moving beyond the prevention of COVID-19, and into the immunization of our patients. Our priority during the COVID-19 outbreak has been to support your safety and well-being. We believe that the COVID-19 vaccine is an important step towards bringing this virus under control.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine will be distributed throughout the US in the coming months. As your partner in your healthcare journey, we want to keep you updated with the most up-to-date information from trusted sources, like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to ensure you are informed and educated about this vaccine.
We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you have about the COVID -19 vaccine as a part of your regular appointments with your primary care provider or any member of our Care Team.
If you can get the vaccine from another location authorized by the Florida Department of Health, please do so. We ask that you keep track of your two vaccine doses and send us a copy of the immunization card so we can document it in our records.
While you wait for the vaccine, remember that for most people a COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available for months, so it is important to keep up with your wellness appointments and to follow CDC guidelines continue to protect yourself until you can get the vaccine.
Yes. There are currently two authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have both received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the United States, meaning that they can be made available to the public during the pandemic. We believe the vaccines are both safe and effective and the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any identified risks or side effects. There are other COVID-19 vaccines in different stages of development in the United States.
According to the CDC, "There will be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines at start, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large quantities are available."
Because there will be a limited supply initially, the CDC has recommended that healthcare workers who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19, and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, be the first groups to receive vaccines. The CDC is expected to give recommendations soon about the next groups that will be prioritized for vaccine access. In general, we expect that priority will be given to the most vulnerable—including essential workers and those who fall into high-risk categories due to age or underlying conditions. Younger and healthier groups will likely be eligible to get the vaccine following those with higher priority. Note that states are developing their own prioritization plans based on the CDC’s recommendations, so eligible groups may vary somewhat from state to state. For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC’s website.
We are working closely with health and state officials to secure vaccines for our patients. Due to the limited supply, we will likely get vaccines in batches and will schedule appointments based on the number of vaccines received in each shipment. We plan to schedule our patients based on those who are at most risk and have indicated they want to receive the vaccine.
We are preparing several of our centers to serve as central vaccination sites for patients. The initial three locations identified as vaccination sites are Family Physicians Group of West Vine, Family Physicians Group of Pine Hills and Family Physicians Group of Engelwood Park. In the meantime, we are working on a distribution plan and will inform you when the vaccine becomes available.
If you can get the vaccine from another location authorized by the Florida Department of Health, please do so. We ask that you keep track of your two vaccine doses and send us a copy of the immunization card so we can document it in our records. Visit the FDOH website for the latest information https://floridahealthcovid19.gov.
According to the CDC, "The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines".
To see the latest from the CDC on what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html.
The COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered via injection. Most will require two doses to be effective, including the two vaccines that recently received Emergency Use Authorization. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will require two shots, administered about 21 days apart. The Moderna vaccine will require two shots, administered about 28 days apart.
If you have concerns due to your health status or a specific medical condition, speak with your doctor or care team about whether the vaccine is appropriate for you. During this pandemic, it is important that you still get your needed medical care and attend your doctor’s appointments. Keeping your health conditions well managed—by staying on top of your preventive and regular medical care—will help to manage your health risk during this pandemic. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself while awaiting the availability of the vaccine.
Remember it is important to continue to protect yourself from COVID-19 until you can get the vaccine and also after you receive the vaccination. You should cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay six feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often. If you start to not feel well or have questions about your health, please call our office and speak to a member of your care team.
Yes. All FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines will be covered at no additional cost during the public health emergency. It also covers instances in which two vaccine doses are required.
There are currently no other available vaccines that will prevent COVID-19. However, multiple agencies and groups in the United States are working together to make sure that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available as quickly as possible. A flu vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID-19, but it can prevent you from getting influenza (flu) at the same time as COVID-19. That means that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever. For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC’s website.