Hello, I am Donna Belusar, President /CEO of ADEC. Thank you for joining me today.
I want to share a COVID update with you: to the employees of ADEC and to the individuals and families we support.
Just recently I informed all ADEC employees that we, as essential workers in providing care to a vulnerable population, qualify to receive the first round of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. To be effective, the vaccine requires two shots, spaced either 21 or 28 days apart. Every employee was sent an email to their @adecinc.com email with the link to sign up.
The vaccine is administered by trained healthcare professionals. None of the information is shared with ADEC. We will not know if you went, unless you share it.
It is voluntary. It is not mandatory for any employee to get the vaccine. However, many employees have shared they have already taken the first dose. When they do, as I did, you receive a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and sticker. When I signed up, I was able to get in the very next day at Elkhart General Hospital. The process was flawless, quick, and pain-free – about 20 minutes. The flexibility in time was fantastic – from 7:00 in the morning to 8:00 in the evening, Monday – Saturday.
So, please do consider getting the vaccine. For you. For your family. For us. For those we serve.
At both a national and state level, the cases of COVID continue to rise along with the number of deaths and hospitalization. At a national level, in just less than two weeks, our nation recorded its five deadliest days since the covid-19 pandemic started. In Indiana, cases and percent positivity are rising. Indiana state moved up in the number of positive cases to over 16.4% today. Both Elkhart and St. Joseph counties are orange. Elkhart positivity rate is 14.72% and St. Joseph County is at 11.95%.
ADEC is proud to be a member of two very influential and informative associations: The ARC of Indiana and INARF. Both groups are helping providers like ADEC line up the process of delivery and making available the vaccine to individuals with developmental disabilities.
For families, you can stay current and get updates from the Indiana State Department of Health directly to your email. Sign up by going to www.in.gov/coronavirus.
There is a specific link to the COVID vaccine. You will have at your fingertips the same information that we get. Our guidance is coming from the Indiana Department of Health.
In addition, The Arc and the Self Advocates of Indiana have valuable resources to help explain the COVID vaccine in plain language guidance for individuals with developmental disabilities. I’ve asked our ADEC communication team to post the link our website. Or you can just reach out to us and we will print and get to you.
I know we are asking a lot of you and the use of technology may sometimes feel impersonal. But in today’s environment, please know that the use of technology can be a lifesaver. If you go to our website and send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our main office, someone will get back with you.
COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Indiana.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization allowing shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to be sent to Indiana and other states.
First responders (fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, reservists and volunteers) who have in-person contact with the public, and licensed and unlicensed healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients or infectious material in any healthcare setting are eligible to schedule a vaccination appointment. This made ADEC employees are eligible.
There is a phase roll-out plan. As of today, any Hoosier age 80 and older is eligible.
Earlier today I joined a webinar, hosted by INARF, with a special guest panelist – Dr. Maulik Trivedi, FACEP. He gave a specific update on SARS-Cov-2 Vaccination.
We know Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization, and additional vaccines are being developed by other manufacturers. The EUA process has allowed for clinical trials and manufacturing to occur simultaneously, while still allowing for rigorous testing to determine how safe and effective it is.
I received the Moderna vaccine. After you receive the first dose, you can use your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll also get reminders if you need a second vaccine dose.
- Safety is a top priority
- There will be a limited vaccine supply at first
- The vaccine will be free.
- Prevent the spread of COVID-19 until the vaccine is available to everyone.
The vaccine is in limited supply at first and won’t be widely available until after this initial phase. Until there is enough vaccine for everyone, it’s crucial for you to continue to take these steps that we can do now to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a mask to protect yourself and others
- Stay at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arm lengths)
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer
- Isolate yourself if you’re sick and stay home if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19
- Clean frequently touched surfaces often
Dr. Trivedi shared four key safety points about these two vaccines:
- It does not expose you to the virus
- You will not test positive for the virus
- It does not interfere with your DNA
- Even after getting the vaccine, we must still wear masks, wash our hands and social distance.
For families, many of you are reaching out to ADEC asking when will your family member with a developmental disability will be able to receive the vaccine.
Our FSSA organization lead by Secretary Dr. Sullivan and DDRS Director Kyle Hope are working on a deployment strategy. Many agencies, like ADEC, have signed up with the federal pharmacy partnership. ADEC is with CVS Omnicare, to be a primary path for IDD individuals in congregated (2 or more settings). We received confirmation on Monday, Jan. 4, that we are on the list with them as a vaccination partner.
On-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be scheduled in accordance with state and jurisdiction activation status into this federal program. Our plan is to have these clinics at the ADEC Industries location.
As soon as we get word CVS Omnicare is ready, we will begin the process of scheduling clinics. For ADEC residents receiving services from ADEC that live in a congregated setting, meaning 2 or more people live in the home, such as one of our fourteen group homes and about 11 Elkhart supportive living and 7 Gosh supportive living locations, you will be contacted by an ADEC lead to get information and consent forms signed.
Like you, we are encouraged to continuously monitor our state’s Department of Health website to keep up-to-state on activation plans.
As I sign off, please
- To ADEC employees, it is voluntary, but please do consider getting the vaccine. It is free and no information is shared with ADEC.
- To ADEC families, we will keep you informed as updates are given.
- Please use technology and sign up at in.gov to get updated covid-19 information and keep tabs on our ADEC website.
- Wear Masks, Wash Hands and Social Distance.
Be safe and Be well. We will talk soon.