Sturdy Memorial Hospital and Sturdy Memorial Associates have begun vaccinating individuals eligible in Phase One of Massachusetts' distribution plan. This includes healthcare workers, long term care facility staff and patients, as well as first responders.
We are currently working on plans to assist in community vaccination. We kindly ask that you do not contact your provider's office or the Hospital to schedule a vaccine at this time, we will be reaching out directly to eligible patients when the vaccine becomes available.
Vaccine Availability and Eligibility
WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO GET THE VACCINE?
Massachusetts developed a phased approach for distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Information about these phases, including who is eligible and where we are in the process can be found here.
CAN I SIGN UP OR BE ADDED TO A LIST TO GET THE VACCINE?
No, at this time, Sturdy is not maintaining a sign-up list for the vaccine. Community vaccination is being directed by state and federal agencies, we will provide more information about this as it becomes available.
SHOULD I GET THE VACCINE BASED ON MY MEDICAL HISTORY?
If you have questions or concerns related to your personal medical conditions, you should discuss them with your primary care physician to determine the risk versus benefits related to vaccination. Below is a chart highlighting who can receive the vaccine based on the data available.
Proceed with Vaccination
Precaution to Vaccination
Contraindication to Vaccination
- Immunocompromising conditions
- Autoimmune disease
- Moderate/severe acute illness
- History of food, pet, insect, venom, environmental, etc. allergies
- History of allergy to oral medications (including the oral equivalent of an injectable medication)
- Non-serious allergy to vaccine or other injectables
- Family history of anaphylaxis
- History of severe allergic reaction to another vaccine
- History of severe allergic reaction to an injectable medication
- History of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccines
About the Vaccine
WHAT IS AN mRNA VACCINE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
An mRNA vaccine teaches your body how to create a harmless "Spike protein" which then initiates an immune response in your body. This immune response produces antibodies in your body to fight against future infection. An mRNA vaccine does not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, which means you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
The mRNA also DOES NOT affect your own body’s DNA as it never enters the nucleus of your cell where your DNA is kept. This means that the mRNA does not come into contact with your DNA which means it cannot change or alter your DNA in anyway.
HOW CAN A VACCINE HELP?
Sometimes our body's natural defense system needs a boost to help protect it from a bacteria or a virus. Vaccines work by helping your immune system develop antibodies to fight off an infection, much like it would if your body were exposed to the virus or bacteria naturally.
HOW WERE COVID-19 VACCINES DEVELOPED SO QUICKLY?
Researchers and developers used cutting edge approaches to develop these vaccines. Vaccines that require obtaining the virus and weakening or inactivating it are longer processes. New approaches being used, such as mRNA technology require scientists to only know the virus's genetic sequence, which was identified early in the pandemic, helping to accelerate the process of vaccine development.
Safety and Side Effects
SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT SAFETY OF THE VACCINE?
Like all vaccines, the FDA ensures that the currently proposed COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorized for use in the United States and will continue to be monitored. All vaccines must successfully complete three phases of clinical trials which includes monitoring the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines administered to thousands of people. The speed at which COVID-19 vaccines are being developed is due to unprecedented funding for the research, development, and study of them.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE VACCINE?
Mild to moderate side effects have been reported including; local injection site reactions, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, and headache. These are all signs of a successful immune response and antibody production which are good. Most were reported to resolve within a few days.
IS THE VACCINE EFFECTIVE?
Data from Pfizer and Moderna showed high efficacy of 90-95% for prevention of COVID-19 infection compared with placebo.
CAN I GET THE VACCINE IF I AM PREGNANT, TRYING TO BECOME PREGNANT, OR BREASTFEEDING?
There is limited data related to the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant and/or lactating women. During the phase III clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine, 23 women became pregnant after enrollment. there were no significant adverse outcomes observed in these cases.
The CDC and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology DO NOT consider pregnancy to be a contraindication to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should speak with your physician regarding the risk versus benefits of vaccination.
Vaccine: Testing and Prevention
WILL I GET A POSITIVE TEST RESULT AFTER I GET THE VACCINE?
No, the vaccine will not result in you testing positive on a viral COVID-19 test which tests for active infection. However, if you have an antibody study done, the results may show that you have antibodies present. This is a result of your body having an immune response to the vaccine and developing the appropriate antibodies to help you fight of the COVID-19 infection, which is the goal. This continues to be studied.
DO I STILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK AND PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING ETC...?
Yes. You will still need to practice the safety measures put in place such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and good hand hygiene while experts learn more about how the vaccine provides protection in real-life situations. Vaccination and following the recommended guidelines put out by the CDC on how to protect yourself provides us with the best defense against the pandemic at this time.
WILL THE VACCINE PREVENT ME FROM GETTING SICK WITH COVID-19?
Yes, vaccination works by teaching your body how to develop an immune response and fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, this protects you from developing COVID-19.
CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/mrna-vaccine-basics.html
Joseph A. A Huge Experiment: How the World Made so Much Progress on a COVID-19 Vaccine so Fast. https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/30/a-huge-experiment-how-the world-made-so-much-progress-on-a-covid-19-vaccine-so-fast/
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Pardi N, Hogan MJ, Porter FW and Weissman D. mRNA vaccines- a new era in vaccinology. 2018. Nature reviews/drug discovery. 17: 261.
PHG foundation in University of Cambridge website: https://www.phgfoundation.org/briefing/rna-vaccines
Slaoui M and Hepburn M. Developing safe and effectively covid vaccines-Operation Warp Speed’s strategy and approach. 2020. NEJM, 383: 18.