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Fri May 7, 2021, 12:06 PM

Many Minnesota nursing home workers still refusing COVID-19 shots

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Four months after vaccines became available, senior care communities across Minnesota continue to face a daunting challenge: how to persuade front-line workers to overcome their fears and embrace the lifesaving shots. A large percentage of nursing home and assisted-living workers continue to refuse the vaccines, posing a major challenge to the state's efforts to prevent further virus surges in facilities that care for the state's most vulnerable residents. Their wariness is fueled by a wide array of concerns, including fears of long-term side effects, particularly among women of childbearing age; doubts about the vaccine's efficacy; distrust in the medical system, and perceived immunity among workers who have recovered from COVID-19, according to facility administrators and industry representatives.

Across the state, senior homes have tried everything short of mandating the shots to persuade workers to roll up their sleeves. They have bombarded them with text messages and social media postings. They have held vaccine parties and given out gift cards. They have asked respected workers to sway their reluctant colleagues through one-on-one conversations. And they've handed out scientific reports showing how the vaccines have been highly effective in reducing hospitalizations and deaths, particularly among older adults.

These efforts are driven by a sense of urgency. After seeing the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths plunge this year, long-term care providers want to avoid a return to the harrowing outbreaks of last spring and fall, when the disease was claiming dozens of lives a week in these facilities while plunging the industry into a full-blown staffing crisis.

(snip)

Yet thousands of front-line workers remain unconvinced. New survey data released by the Minnesota Department of Health show that only about half of workers in assisted-living facilities have received both shots, while nearly 60% of those in skilled nursing homes are fully vaccinated. By contrast, more than 80% of those who live in these facilities have agreed to be vaccinated, according to a voluntary survey of long-term care providers.

A federal study released late last month underscores the urgency. At a Kentucky nursing home, an unvaccinated staff member brought in a variant, or new strain of the virus, causing 18 residents and four workers who had been fully vaccinated to contract the virus, according to the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unvaccinated residents and health care staff had three and four times the risk of infection during the outbreak as vaccinated residents and staffers, respectively, the study found.

(snip)

Some providers said they weighed the possibility of requiring the vaccines but ruled it out because they feared losing staff in the midst of a labor shortage. There is also no unifying reason that explains why workers are resistant to the shots and hence no straightforward message or tactic to persuade them. Religious beliefs, misinformation on social media and speculation about long-term health effects have all played a role, say long-term care providers.

More..

https://www.startribune.com/many-minnesota-nursing-home-workers-still-refusing-covid-19-shots/600053585/

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Reply Many Minnesota nursing home workers still refusing COVID-19 shots (Original post)
question everything May 7 OP
Buckeye_Democrat May 7 #1
Mister Ed May 7 #2
No Vested Interest May 7 #3
Mister Ed May 7 #4
dflprincess May 7 #5
No Vested Interest May 8 #6

Response to question everything (Original post)

Fri May 7, 2021, 12:19 PM

1. I met several nursing home workers...

... while helping both of my elderly parents (now deceased). My parents were mostly cared for at their home by me and my brother, but it was common for them to get some therapy at nursing homes after a hospital stay.

I felt bad for the lowly-paid aides at those places, but they were definitely poorly-educated overall. Some of them openly expressed their religious beliefs too, without prompting.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Fri May 7, 2021, 12:47 PM

2. Then the next headline I'd like to see is:

"Many Minnesota nursing homes refusing to employ unvaccinated workers."

I know the article makes clear that the nursing homes are reluctant to go that route, for fear it might cause staff shortages during the present labor shortage. Still, this is not highly-skilled work. A minimum requirement of employees should be that they are not a threat to the lives and health of the residents.

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Response to Mister Ed (Reply #2)

Fri May 7, 2021, 06:12 PM

3. I basically agree with you, especially the need for nursing home employees to be

vaccinated, and that the work is not highly skilled.
However, 2 points need to be made:
1. In my state, and I suspect in many others, a certificate is required for completion of a course called Certified Nursing Assistant before being employed as a nursing aide. I understand the course can be as little as 2 weeks, but still is a requirement.

2. Even though the work is not highly-skilled work, it is not easy work and many people are not temperamentally suited for the work. I imagine many are not physically fit enough as well. I could give you paragraphs about these points, but not at this time.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #3)

Fri May 7, 2021, 06:23 PM

4. I guess you're right. These probably are not workers who are are disposable, or easily replaced. n/t

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #3)

Fri May 7, 2021, 11:43 PM

5. In Minnesota hospitals & clinics generally require a CNA

but, for the most part, assisted living & nursing homes do not. Some may, but it is not required by the state.

I just confirmed this with my niece who has worked in the industry. She wishes they would require it as the aides with CNAs tend to be much more reliable - they also tend to be people who are planning to go into nursing or other medical area & having the CNA and some experience is a plus when applying to other programs.

All these outfits require flu shots, there is no reason not to require the Covid vaccination.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #5)

Sat May 8, 2021, 02:38 AM

6. In Ohio, CNA is required for nursing and long-term care, I believe.

At least it is at the facility where my relative lives. There is also another similar designation to CNA, which I don't recall the name.
I don't know about assisted living.

Believe me, many of the CNAs are not temperamentally suited for nursing work. Those who apparently got the certification in high school must have been told it would get them work, which it does, but many are rude and bully the residents, etc.

There are currently shortages of workers in the field, and it appears to be staff which brings in Covid to the facility, infecting the vulnerable residents.

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