New York Health Authorities Push for More Nursing Home Workers to Get Vaccinated

New York Health Authorities Push for More Nursing Home Workers to Get Vaccinated
Old people have domino and pool activities like that? also, knitting and even celebrating birthdays at the Comfort Adult Day Care Center with its general coordinator Maria Hidalgo in Corona, Queens.

Photo: Mariela Lombard / El Diario NY

The New York authorities are still looking for ways to get more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and after knowing that almost half of the nursing home workers do not have immunization yet, since this week the State set itself the challenge of convincing more employees of these care centers to apply the injection against coronavirus.

For this reason, the Health authorities announced new rules and ordered all elderly care centers to before April 29, both employees and residents of the homes have the opportunity to access the vaccine. The plan is that they can access immunization within two weeks of a new hire or new admission.

The idea is to make it easier for the nursing homes the possibility of receiving the vaccination dose (s), depending on the available vaccine, and those who choose not to be vaccinated will have to sign documents certifying that they do not wish to take the medication against COVID.

The State Department of Health can fine facilities that do not follow these guidelines, and issue penalties that go up to $ 2,000 for each violation committed.

It is estimated that up to an hour only 60% of workers Nursing homes across New York state have been vaccinated since the immunization plan began four months ago.

Data from the Department of Health reveal that in the case of New York City, the average number of nursing home employees vaccinated is even lower: only 56%.

The figures contrast with the vaccination reports of older adults living in nursing homes, who at state level have already been vaccinated in 80%, while at the level of the Big Apple, elderly residents in care homes who have been vaccinated, they are 73%.

Through a statement issued by the State Department of Health, stated that despite the fact that the vast majority of nursing homes in New York have understood that COVID-19 vaccines are essential to keep the pandemic at bay, there are some sites that have not assumed this responsibility with the same push.

“Nursing home operators have known from the beginning that a COVID vaccine is one of the best ways to protect residents and staff from this dangerous virus,” said a spokesman for health authorities. “Inexplicably, numerous nursing homes are letting vaccine doses sit on the shelves, and this is why DOH recently enacted emergency regulations requiring nursing homes to offer all new, existing staff and residents and not vaccinated, the opportunity to be vaccinated ”.

“That they understand the impact of their decisions”

Vivian Rivera, from the organization ‘Voices of the Elderly of New York’ saw in a positive way the effort of the health authorities to increase vaccination among workers in nursing homes, and assured that although he considers that an order should not be issued to force employees to be vaccinated, those who work in those Sites must understand the impact of their decisions.

“I think the vaccine should have the freedom for people to choose If you want to put it on or not, but in the specific case of nursing homes, which are a world apart, you know that if an employee does not have the vaccine, they can catch COVID and take it to the elderly who are more vulnerable and can even die, as happened with my mother in April of last year, when she died of COVID, ”said the activist.

“I understand the employees who are still afraid of the vaccine, Well, it is not that there is zero danger, and there are still many doubts, but at the same time if I take the side of the elderly, I think that dealing with the elderly at this time is a very delicate situation, so Each worker should make his decision and think that if he does not agree to be vaccinated, he should better think about looking for another jobRivera added.

The New Yorker also said that motivating more staff to be vaccinated in the elderly will allow families to return to share closely with their loved ones as quickly as possible, because if it takes longer, many may not be able to see each other again. your family members alive or just saying ‘hello’ to them through a window, without hugs or kisses.

Nursing homes and vaccination: