From the desk of Heidi Krug, Chief Operations Officer, Transitions Hospice and Palliative Care
To our Valued Healthcare Partners,
The past year has been filled with difficulties, challenges and a level of perseverance, unlike anything we have ever experienced. We are extremely proud of frontline healthcare workers and are forever grateful for their contributions in keeping us and our families safe during these unprecedented times.
One year after the pandemic’s onset, the safety and well-being of our patients, their family members, and our staff remains the priority of Transitions Hospice. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken every precaution possible to stop the spread, following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with Federal, State, and local health department guidelines.
With the approval of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in December of 2020, many of our employees and field staff have since been vaccinated. These vaccines come in two-steps, in which someone may receive the second dose of the vaccine within 21-28 days of receiving the first dose. Someone who receives the vaccine cannot become infected or infect others, as it contains no live virus. However, the vaccine does promote the body to create antibodies to fight off COVID-19 if exposed to the virus, allowing people who receive it to resist future infection. The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge to anyone living in the United States, and is still recommended for those individuals who have already had COVID-19. If you have had COVID-19 in the previous 90 days, you may be asked to wait to receive the vaccine, as you are likely to have temporary immunity.
On February 27, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of (COVID-19) The EUA allows the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.
The frequency of further immunizations is still being evaluated as they are still researching the length of immunity from COVID-19, and it is unclear whether we will need to receive these shots on an annual or regular basis.
Regardless, Transitions employees will continue with COVID-19 precautions, including: wearing masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, and daily employee self-monitoring, and we encourage others to continue to do so as well. To us, it is important to continue taking these measures in order to keep each other safe as we move forward towards a vaccinated society.
Most recently, variants of the COVID-19 virus have been identified throughout the U.S. and in other areas of the world. This is typical of other viruses that are constantly evolving through mutation, such as influenza. Per the CDC, at this time, studies suggest that antibodies generated through the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines recognize these variants and should be able to fight off variant infection. However, this is still being investigated and studied, further emphasizing the importance of continuing to wear masks, social distance, and take precautionary measures.
We strongly encourage healthcare professionals to continue educating themselves on COVID-19 and to receive the vaccine through their local health department or vaccination site. Our staff continues to live out our mission of “doing the right thing” as we navigate through this unique crisis. As we have said before, we are all in this together. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies, so we can continue to support our patients and communities as needed.
Thank you for trusting Transitions as your hospice and palliative care provider. We are hopeful that 2021 will bring health, new beginnings, and a sense of optimism to all of you, along with the rest of the world.
Further information about COVID-19, vaccinations, best practices, and more can be obtained by visiting the following websites: