Information about the effort to vaccinate the health workforce against COVID-19 and best practices for health care providers to improve vaccination rates.
(05/12/2022) Continued Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination Among Urban Healthcare Workers During Delta Variant Predominance
This study assessed the vaccine effectiveness among healthcare workers from a diverse, urban healthcare setting in Massachusetts during the delta variant predominance of Covid-19. The study, published in BMC Infection Diseases journal, studied 4,615 healthcare workers from December 16, 2020 through September 30, 2021 and calculated VE rates for four categories of vaccination status.
(04/26/22) COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Healthcare Provider
This new journal article published in Health Psychology Research examines “predictors of openness to vaccination among healthcare workers who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 In order to explore potential solutions.” The study finds that the major reasons for vaccine hesitancy among health care workers are a fear of side effects in vaccines and a sense that vaccines “are inadequately studied.”
(04/22/22) Why Do Nearly 20K Nursing Home Workers Have Vaccine Medical Exemptions?
This article examines why 20,000 nursing home workers are seeking vaccine medical exemptions. Many of the nursing home workers with vaccine medical exemptions are in the same nursing home clusters. In Oklahoma, for example, 27 nursing home facilities have over 15 percent of the vaccine medical exemptions, a larger percentage than any other state.
(04/18/22) Flexible Administration Of COVID-19 Vaccines And Therapeutics—Clarifying Legality, Liability, And Compensation
The lack of clear regulatory and enforcement guidelines for off-label uses of both Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Covid-19 therapeutics is resulting in confusion for healthcare providers with regards to professional liability and injury compensation. Additionally, this confusing legal environment provides the opportunity for disparities in Covid-19 treatment access and the use of inappropriate treatments to go unchecked.
(04/06/22) Advisers to FDA Weigh in on Updated COVID Boosters for the Fall
At a virtual meeting, a panel of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisers, supported developing new COVID-19 vaccines to deal with possible future variants. The committee primarily discussed “the framework for making decisions about when to change the viral strain or strains used for future vaccines.” They will reconvene in May or June to consider more specific proposals for updating COVID vaccinations.
(04/11/22) COVID Booster Deadline Looms for Health Care Workers. Are NJ Hospitals Ready?
With the extended deadline of April 11th for New Jersey health care workers to receive their COVID-19 booster shots, some hospitals say the additional time was necessary, given the state’s and country’s nursing shortage. Many hospitals currently rely on travel nurses, contracted registered nurses hired on a temporary basis, to fill up the gaps as the pandemic continues.
(03/30/22) Registered Nurses Call on CDC to Prioritize Health Care Workers for Second COVID-19 Booster Shot
The largest union of registered nurses in the United States, National Nurses United, has written a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seeking immediate approval for further COVID-19 booster vaccines for health care workers. The CDC has approved a second booster shot for adults aged 50 and over.
(03/23/22) Moderna to Ask FDA to Authorize COVID-19 Vaccine in Children 6 Months to 6 Years
Moderna announced this week that it is asking the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children up to 6 years old. This age range currently has no authorized COVID vaccines. After clinical trials, Moderna has concluded that their children vaccine generated similar immune response as those seen in adults aged 18 to 25 who received two adult doses of Moderna’s COVID vaccine.
(03/20/22) Coronavirus Booster to No Longer be Mandated for Health-care Workers, Report Says
New York health care employees will no longer be required to get booster COVID-19 vaccine doses. On March 17th, the state Public Health and Health Planning Council voted to eliminate the COVID-19 booster requirement for health care workers.
(03/18/22) New York Nixes Booster Mandate for Healthcare Workers
New York will no longer require COVID-19 booster shots for health workers. New York enforcement of the booster requirement was scheduled to take effect February 21, but the state said on the 18th of February, that it would reassess the mandate.
(03/07/22) Rural-urban Disparity in COVID-19 Vaccination Status Widens
The rural-urban disparity in COVID-19 vaccination status has nearly doubled since April 2021, according to the latest CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report suggests the reason for the increase is likely driven by higher rates of vaccine hesitancy and less patient engagement during provider interactions.
(03/07/22) Senate Voted to Repeal COVID-19 Healthcare Worker Vaccine Mandate
The senate has approved a resolution seeking to repeal the COVID-19 healthcare worker vaccine mandate. GOP lawmakers wanting to repeal the COVID-19 healthcare worker vaccine mandate said that the the rule was not about public health and would lead to greater staff shortages.
(03/02/22) Priorities And Policy Levers To Support School-located Vaccination
As the pandemic numbers have decreased nationwide in the last few months, school officials are still confronting the daily challenges of keeping schools open and their students safe. Although vaccinations are the best line of defense to reduce transmissions in schools, nationally only 31.8 percent of 5-to-11-year-olds, as of early February, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. These numbers are well under the national average. Despite the lower vaccination numbers for children, throughout the pandemic, school-located vaccination (SLV) have been critical in expanding access to COVID-19 vaccinations for students and their families.
(03/03/22) Murphy Delays COVID Booster Mandate for NJ Health Workers, Prison Guards
After the earlier deadline expired on Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an order extending the deadline for health care workers to get a COVID booster shot to April 11. This order also extends the deadline for people working in prisons, group homes, and high-risk congregate care settings until May 11.
(03/02/22) In Symbolic Vote, Senate Rejects Vaccine Mandate for Health Workers
The United State Senate has passed legislation seeking to roll back the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers, in an effort considered symbolic with little chance of passing the House of Representatives or being signed by the President. The debate over vaccination mandates continues even after court decisions have allowed the mandates to stay in effect.
(03/01/22) J&J-Vaxxed, mRNA-Boosted, and Pondering a Third Shot
This article from Kaiser Health News highlights the changed narrative regarding the view of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. While initially promoted as a good option for the population, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has become less common in the United States over the course of the pandemic, with providers and patients alike confused on how to combine it with booster shots of other vaccines.
(02/28/22) From Alabama to Utah, Efforts to Vaccinate Medicaid Enrollees Against Covid Run Into Obstacles
Despite increased outreach efforts, Medicaid enrollees are getting vaccinated at far lower rates than the general population, according to data from several sites. The result is that Medicaid enrollees, who are far more likely to be sicker than those with private insurance, are at much higher risk of hospitalization or severe illness.
(02/21/22) New York Delays Enforcement of Healthcare Worker Booster Mandate
New York will not begin to enforce the vaccine mandate on 2/21 as planned, giving workers more time to apply for exemption in an attempt to avoid potential staffing issues. The state will reassess the situation in 3 month, and then will decide if more steps need to be taken to increase booster rates among health workers in New York.
(02/18/22) Are COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Side Effects Severe Enough to Cause Missed Work? Cross-sectional Study of Health Care-associated Workers
This article investigates the effect of messenger RNA vaccine effects on the tendency to miss work among employees working for a large academic health center. 37 percent of respondents experienced severe enough side effects that they needed to miss work from either of the doses, with 27.8% related to the second dose. These findings will help organizations better plan for staffing as vaccinates increase to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
(02/16/22) Motivations for Vaccine Hesitancy Among EMS Providers in the United States who Declined the COVID-19 Vaccine
This article examines COVID vaccine hesitancy among Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. Out of the 166 respondents, 16% reported declining a COVID-19 vaccine primarily due to concern about its safety and effectiveness.
(02/16/22) In the Face of Vaccine Mandates, Unvaccinated Health Care Workers Turn to Religious Exemptions
Unvaccinated healthcare workers are trying to get religious exemptions as a way to deal with vaccine mandates. CMS’ vaccine mandates have now taken effect in 24 states. Health care workers in these states were required to get their first dose of COVID-19 or an exemption by Feb. 14. Several rural health hospital leaders have claimed that religious exemptions to vaccine mandates have been a way to retain health workers during staff shortages as a result of the pandemic.
(02/14/22) Federal Vaccination Mandate Begins for Healthcare Workers in 24 States
The compliance deadline for the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate now applies to health care workers in the 24 states previously delayed due to a challenge in federal courts. Following a January 13 decision by the US Supreme Court, health care workers in these states must be fully vaccinated by March 15, 2022.
(02/10/22) HHS Releases $66.5M to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence, Access
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded nearly $66.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds to eight community-based organizations, expanding efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and vaccination access. The funding will support organizations in 38 states to build vaccine confidence through targeted outreach efforts.
(01/27/22) Vaccine Mandate for Health Workers Starts to Take Effect
The federal vaccination mandate for health care workers goes into effect January 27, 2022 for health care workers in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Workers in every other state except for Texas will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by February 14, 2022, with the requirement coming to workers in Texas on February 22, 2022.
(01/27/22) Montana Governor Asks Biden Administration for Flexibility on Vaccination Mandate for Rural Hospitals
The governor of Montana is requesting federal exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, citing rural facilities in Montana that are already short-staffed and may need to fire workers who refuse to be vaccinated. Currently, health care workers in Montana must receive at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by February 14, 2022, and must be fully vaccinated by March 15, 2022.
(01/26/22) CDC Tells Pharmacies to Give 4th COVID Shots to Immunocompromised Patients
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have directed pharmacists that people with moderate to severe immunosuppression are eligible to receive a 4th COVID-19 vaccination shot. Pharmacists have reportedly turned away people seeking 4th shots prior to this direction, which the federal government hoped to address.
(01/19/22) Reducing the Rates of Household Transmission: the Impact of COVID-19 Vaccination in Healthcare Workers With a Known Household Exposure
New research published in the journal Vaccine examines the relationship between COVID-19 vaccination in health care workers and exposure to COVID-19 in their households. Two key takeaways from the research include that unvaccinated health care workers had a 667% increased risk of infection from household transmission compared to fully vaccinated, and only half of COVID-19-positive health care workers who were fully vaccinated were symptomatic.
(01/19/22) New Jersey Announces COVID Vaccine and Booster Mandate for Health Care Workers and High-risk Settings
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has announced health care workers in the state must begin their first shots of vaccination for COVID-19 by January 27, 2022, with a requirement of being fully vaccinated by February 28, 2022. Health care workers in New Jersey will also be required to receive a booster shot, with no testing option as an alternative.
(01/18/22) CMS Extends COVID-19 Vaccine Deadline for Health Workers in 24 States
Following the recent Supreme Court decision upholding a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced an extension to the deadline for health care workers in the 24 states involved in the legal to be fully vaccinated. This deadline move from February 28, 2022 to March 15, 2022 will not impact health care workers in the 25 states and District of Columbia that were not involved in the legal challenge.
(01/14/22) Supreme Court Halts COVID-19 Vaccine Rule for US Businesses
The United States Supreme Court decided to block the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for large employers while also deciding to allow the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for most health care workers to continue.
(01/07/22) Court Seems Poised to Block Vaccine-or-test Policy for Workplaces but May Allow Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers
Oral arguments were held in two sets of challenges to the Biden administration’s authority to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The judges were skeptical of the administration’s effort to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate on large employers. In the second case, the justices were more open to the administration’s attempts to enforce a vaccination requirement for health care workers at federally funded institutions.
(01/07/22) Hochul: Health Care Workers Will Need COVID-19 Booster Shot
New regulations for health care workers have been announced by New York governor Kathy Hochul. Health care workers in the state of New York will now be required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot within 14 days of eligibility, with only medical exemptions allowed. Nursing homes will also be required to test visitors for COVID-19.
(01/03/22) CMS Releases Guidance on Healthcare Worker Vaccination Mandate
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued guidance to state agencies on how to assess compliance with the federal health care worker vaccination mandate. This mandate is only in effect in the 25 states where the mandate is not blocked by legal action.
(12/23/21) Supreme Court to Hear Challenges to Biden’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rules for Health Care Workers, Large Companies
The Supreme Court announced that it will take up legal challenges to President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mandates for healthcare workers and big firms with more than 100 employees. These requirements were part of a series of initiatives proposed by the Biden Administration in September to combat the spread of the Delta variant, however, these have been challenged in court. The court has scheduled oral arguments in two sets of claims for January 7, 2022.
(12/22/21) California to Require Boosters for Healthcare Workers
California’s governor Gavin Newsom has announced a requirement for health care workers in the state to receive their third dose of COVID-19 vaccination by February. This rule also impacts workers in high-risk settings such as nursing homes, and any health care worker who has not currently received their booster will be required to be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly until they have received their booster.
(12/21/21) Biden Announces Free Home COVID testing, Emergency Hospital Support to Head Off Winter Omicron Surge
President Joe Biden announced this week that his administration plans to provide half billion COVID-19 at home rapid-tests that will be distributed to Americans for free. In addition to opening new testing sites, the Biden administration is directing an additional 1,000 medical personnel from the armed services to assist at hospitals as needed starting in January and February 2022. The president has also ordered to deploy six emergency response teams (more than 100 clinical personnel and paramedics) to hard hit states including, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire and Vermont.
(12/21/21) With Omicron Now Dominant, Depleted US Hospitals Struggle to Prepare for The Worst
This article from NPR covers the current struggles in hospitals across the United States as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 becomes the dominant strain in the country. Hospitals are short on staff and increasingly filling with this more contagious variant.
(12/15/21) Court Revives Health Worker COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in 26 US states
A federal appeals court has authorized a COVID-19 vaccination mandate to be reinstated in 26 states, following a nationwide injunction weeks ago. The 14 states that initially sued to prevent the mandate from taking effect will have the requirement halted for the meantime.
(12/15/21) Explaining the New COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Health Care Provider Staff
This issue brief from Kaiser Family Foundation tracks the federal COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health care workers from its initial publishing in November to the current impact. Legal challenges and reissuance have changed the mandate and its effectiveness.
(12/13/21) Some Hospitals Drop Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates to Ease Labor Shortages
Several of the largest hospitals in the US have dropped vaccine mandates for hospital staff after a federal judge halted a Biden administration that health workers get vaccinated. The mandates are being dropped due to rising labor costs, nurse shortages, and burnout.
(12/13/21) Court Rejects Religious Challenge to New York’s Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers
The United States Supreme Court rejected to block New York’s vaccine mandate for health care workers, which does not allow for religious exemptions to vaccination.
(12/10/21) CMS Suspends Vaccine Mandate Enforcement for Healthcare Workers
This article from The National Law Review covers the recent decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to suspend enforcement of the vaccine mandate for health care workers who receive funding from CMS. This decision comes following injunctions from federal courts to halt the mandate.
(12/10/21) Low Vaccination Rates Are Driving Michigan’s Worst COVID-19 Surge. Healthcare Workers Anticipate it Will Only Get Worse
Michigan has seen the greatest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began. While vaccines have been accessible for a year, the majority of people hospitalized are unvaccinated. While cases and hospitalizations have increased in the state, it continues to have one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country, with just 56% of persons receiving full vaccination.
(12/06/21) CMS Suspends COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced it will halt a vaccination mandate for workers receiving funding from CMS, citing injunctions from federal courts. While this federal mandate is paused, health systems may have their own vaccination mandates that are not subject to injunction.