It’s terribly frustrating. If everybody would get vaccinated this pandemic would end. — Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA)
It’s terribly frustrating. If everybody would get vaccinated this pandemic would end. — Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA)
Nursing Homes Confront New Covid Outbreaks Amid Calls for Staff Vaccination Mandates
About 133,000 nursing home residents died of Covid over the course of the pandemic, although the death rate has plummeted in recent months with more than 80 percent of residents now vaccinated. Overall, Covid deaths among nursing home residents and staff members accounted for nearly one-third of the nation’s pandemic fatalities.

Growing calls for vaccine mandates among health care workers have gained urgency but also met resistance in the nursing home industry, where some homes say it will cost them staff members in an industry already plagued with high turnover. Only about 60 percent of nursing home staff members are vaccinated, and some states report an even lower rate, with less than half inoculated, according to the most recent government data.


Staff immunization has been an issue in many states, especially as the highly contagious Delta variant races through those with overall low vaccination rates. And new outbreaks in some, including Florida, Colorado, Indiana and Louisiana, have forced some homes to once again limit visitors and impose other restrictions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that it was monitoring the Delta variant’s infections in nursing homes to see if “additional measures are needed.”

“The bottom line is the vaccine is the No. 1, 2 and 3 thing we have to fight this pandemic, everywhere, but especially in nursing homes,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, a geriatrician and former president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, who has reluctantly come to believe mandates are necessary.

So far, the nursing home industry has stopped short of endorsing a vaccination mandate, even as major medical organizations have signed onto calls for the requirement among health care workers, and as more hospitals are requiring the vaccine for employees.

... “It’s terribly frustrating,” Mark Parkinson, the chief executive of the industry’s main trade group, said of the hesitancy of people to resist vaccines, including in the nursing home industry. “If everybody would get vaccinated this pandemic would end,” he added.

But, he said, nursing home providers are wary of mandates, worrying that they could lose workers during “one of the worst labor shortages” in the nation’s recent history.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/04/health/nursing-homes-vaccine-delta-covid.html