A Message from VNA Health President & CEO Lynda Tanner

July 2021

Dear Families and Friends of VNA Health,

UNITED WE STAND! As our Central Coast communities unite with people across the nation to celebrate our country’s reopening, let’s celebrate our shared triumphs! From the grocery clerk to the teacher, from the delivery driver to our tireless medical community, we united against the COVID19 pandemic with resilience, faith, and cooperation.

VNA Health was (and still is) on the front lines caring for COVID patients and families. I’ve never been more proud of our care teams: suiting up in full PPE for ALL patients so that everyone stays safe; undergoing weekly COVID tests; and putting their heart into their work even when weary. Their work isn’t a job; it’s a calling.

Our care teams are able to provide exceptional hospice, palliative, and home health care because of strong support from our outstanding administrative teams, dedicated volunteers, remarkable Board of Directors, and generous donors. I often say it takes a village, and the past 18 months have clearly proven that. Together, we have persevered through the pandemic to regain our independence from this virus.

VNA Health has much to be proud of regarding our response to the pandemic. In spite of the many challenges faced as millions were infected and pandemic fatigue set in, our agency persevered and responded to each ensuing crisis with strength and leadership. The deep commitment of staff to our organization, and more importantly, to our patients, enabled us to keep our patients and their families safe. We invented new ways of working and communicating, but we never stopped caring for or serving our communities.

As we move forward, we must remain ever vigilant about maintaining safety precautions and continuing to follow public health guidelines. VNA Health joins our medical colleagues to urge our community to get vaccinated. The COVID vaccine is extremely effective at preventing death or serious illness caused by the virus.

Now it’s time to hug your loved ones again! Enjoy this summer, celebrate our country’s independence, and be safe and healthy!

Let’s Get to ImmUNITY!

Lynda Tanner, RN, MSN
President & CEO

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COVID19 VACCINES

https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness.html

 

WHAT COVID19 VACCINES ARE APPROVED IN THE UNITED STATES?
As of March 1, 2021, there are three vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) commonly known as Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. Below is a comparison table identifying the Strategy, Efficacy, Dosage, and Side Effects of each vaccine. Learn more about the vaccines from the CDC.

 

IS THE COVID19 VACCINE SAFE?

First, it is important to know that the COVID19 vaccines do not cause the disease COVID19. The goal of the vaccines is to teach our immune system how to fight the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID19. The three vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization for only adults and older teens (not children) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA’s high safety standards are globally recognized, and the safety of COVID19 vaccines will continually be monitored to ensure even very rare side effects are identified.

 

HOW DO THE COVID19 VACCINES WORK?

Think of your immune system like an Emergency Preparedness Plan: BE AWARE, BE PREPARED, BE READY. Vaccines work with your immune system by making your body aware and prepared for the potential virus so that your body will be ready to fight the virus if exposed. It does this by prompting an immune response to a part of the virus – a specific protein code on the spikes of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine prepares your body to build its own arsenal of germ fighting white blood cells called B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. Once your own white blood cells defeat the vaccine-specific protein code, your body remains prepared by keeping a “memory” supply of these particular B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes, so that if you become exposed to the real virus, your body is ready to fight.

You should know that sometimes, after vaccination, the process of building the immune response can cause symptoms, such as pain at the injection site and fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Also, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination. So, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID19 just before or just after vaccination, and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

 

 

ONLINE RESOURCES

   

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPT

Recorded information line: 805-681-4373
Santa Barbara County Call Center: 833-688-5551
(Staffed Mon–Fri, 9 AM–6 PM)

VENTURA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPT

CALIFORNIA DEPT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

OTHER AGENCIES

• San Luis Obispo County
• US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
• World Health Organization

      

PROTECT YOURSELF & LOVED ONES

We know that COVID-19 spreads person-to-person, through close contact via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. As with other respiratory illnesses like the cold and flu, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from germs and viruses.

   

FACTS ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINES

To stop this pandemic, we need to use all of our prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect your health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so your body will be ready to fght the virus, if you are exposed (also called immunity). Other steps, like wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you don’t live with, also help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Click on the flyer to learn more facts about the COVID-19 vaccines.
   

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and fatigue. If you develop symptoms, please call your physician. If you are going to see your doctor, call ahead so that precautions may be taken prior to your arrival.

Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 seeking care at a hospital emergency department, please call ahead if possible, or stop outside the emergency entrance and call the phone number provided at the entrance doors. A staff member will provide a properly fitted mask and assist with protected entry to avoid exposure to others.

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

   

CA NOTIFY: NEW SMART PHONE TOOL DESIGNED TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID 19

Starting December 10, 2020 a new digital tool called CA Notify, will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and be available to smartphone users. Upon its launch, Californians can opt in to receive COVID-19 notifications informing them if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. CA Notify is a digital tool that protects privacy and security – it does not collect device location to detect exposure and does not share a user’s identity. The tool was developed in partnership with Google and Apple and piloted with the help of the University California, San Diego and the University of California, San Francisco.

   

CARING FOR SOMEONE WITH COVID-19

For those who are caregivers of family members who have the flu or COVID-19, it is important to protect yourselves as well. Please review the "COVID-19 Recommendations for Family and Caregivers" guidance from the CDC.

 
   
   

BEYOND COVID-19


EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Whether it's a public health emergency like COVID19 or natural disasters like wildfires, Californians have embraced a culture of preparedness. Have you packed your Emergency Go-Bag? Food, water, cash and medications are just some of the items to consider. Plan now to be ready for the next disaster.


Be Aware: Sign up for emergency text alerts

  • Santa Barbara County – readysbc.org
  • Ventura County – readyventuracounty.org/vc-alert

  • Be Prepared: Create a plan and pack a Go-Bag for your Car

  • Click on the image to download the Go-Bag List
  •