As Covid infections rise, nursing homes still waiting for vaccines

Gun deaths rise sharply among children, study finds

However, a major obstacle remains resistance to vaccination among nurses and caregivers. Like many facility owners, Avalon Health Care Group, which owns or operates more than a dozen nursing homes in Western states, does not require staff to be vaccinated. Dr. Sabine von Preyss-Friedman, Avalon's chief medical officer, says she tries to address the reasons with every worker and won't give up on her efforts.

“We're not just going to say, 'OK, everyone gets vaccinated,' and then forget about it,” she said.

Avalon homes have used modest financial incentives to encourage staff members to get vaccinated. Some have held competitions between different units, with the winner winning prizes like a pizza party or a drawing for a department store gift certificate, and those efforts will resume this year.

Jim Wright, medical director of Our Lady of Hope Health Center and two other nursing homes in Richmond, Virginia, said rewards and respectful persuasion aren't enough to influence employees at his homes. They tend to be in their 20s and 30s, he said, and not worried about catching Covid, which many have already overcome.

“They probably won't do it to protect residents or to protect themselves,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is.”

Sheena Bumpas, a nursing assistant in Duncan, Oklahoma, and vice president of the National Association of Health Care Assistants, planned to get vaccinated this season but said some of her colleagues would not.

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#Covid #infections #rise #nursing #homes #waiting #vaccines