Information about the effort to vaccinate the health workforce and best practices for health care providers to improve vaccination rates.
(07/26/21) APhA Urges COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for All Health Workers
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) announced its statement to urge health care and long-term care providers to require their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. As the number of the Delta variant cases has been surging without achieving a sufficient number of vaccinated people, it argues that vaccine mandates for health care workers are the primary way to keep the U.S. society and people safe and healthy.
(07/21/21) More Medical Provider Groups Push Healthcare Employers to Require COVID-19 Vaccination
This article from Fierce Healthcare highlights the growing number of health care organizations that are endorsing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers. The article also discusses the release of a new joint statement from approximately 57 health professional groups which advocates for providers to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies.
(07/21/21) Nation’s Largest Hospital Group Supports Mandatory Coronavirus Vaccines for Health Workers
In an effort to mitigate surging case numbers in the nation, the American Hospital Association (AHA) has called for all health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The AHA has also announced its support for hospitals and health systems to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for health care workers.
(07/21/21) Get Vaccinated or Take Weekly COVID-19 Test, NYC Public Healthcare Workers Told
Mayor Bill de Blasio has implemented a new policy in New York City which will require workers in hospitals and health clinics to get a COVID-19 vaccination or receive weekly COVD-19 tests. The policy will take effect in early August and will apply to public health workers as well as the entire NYC Health + Hospitals system’s workforce.
(07/15/21) Chiropractors and Nursing Assistants Have Some of the Lowest Vaccination Rates Among Oregon Health Care Workers
The Oregon Health Authority has recently released new data which shows that 70% of Oregon’s licensed health care professionals have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The data also shows that vaccination rates vary across medical professions with dentists achieving the highest vaccination rate and chiropractic assistants having the lowest.
(07/14/21) Viewpoint: COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be a Condition of Employment for Healthcare Personnel
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights a statement released by a national coalition of medical societies. The statement encourages health organizations to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment for health care workers. This recommendation was announced after a thorough review of employment law, recent data on unvaccinated individuals, and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
(07/14/21) Vaxxed or Axed: To Protect Patients, Every Health Care Worker Must Be Vaccinated
This opinion piece from STAT News supports the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination mandates for all health care workers. Several health care organizations have reported low vaccination rates among health care staff and the decision to mandate vaccination may be the best course of action for protecting patients.
(07/13/21) Groups Push for Health Worker COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
This article reports that a group of coalitions, including the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) urged to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers. While the Biden Administration has not enforced a vaccine mandate, the coalition claimed that, without equating COVID-19 vaccination to a condition of employment is critical to achieve a sufficient level of vaccination rate.
(07/13/21) Multisociety Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination As a Condition of Employment for Healthcare Personnel
A coalition consisting of multiple international professional medical societies has released a statement, published in Cambridge University Press, recommending vaccination as a condition of employment for those working in health care settings.
(07/13/21) Coalition Says Health Workers Should Be Required to Get Coronavirus Vaccine
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and five other medical groups have released a statement urging medical facilities to enforce COVID-19 vaccination mandates for their workers. The coalition of health-care organizations have also released guidance on navigating regulations, implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, and combating vaccine hesitancy.
(07/08/21) Update: Hospitals, Health Systems Mandating Vaccines for Workers
The number of hospitals and health systems that are now requiring health care employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination is rapidly growing. This article from Becker’s Hospital Review lists the healthcare organization’s that have announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates as of July 8, 2021.
(07/08/21) COVID-19 Vaccines Could Soon Be Mandatory for VA Employees
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is now weighing in on COVID-19 vaccination mandates for its employees who work in health services. In efforts to ensure the safety of veteran patients and increase vaccination rates among VA staff, the VA Secretary, Denis McDonough, has offered incentives for health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and may consider a vaccination mandate if necessary.
(07/08/21) Trinity Health Mandates COVID-19 Vaccine for Employees at 91 Hospitals
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights Trinity Health’s decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccination among its employees. Trinity Health is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 91 hospitals, 113 continuing care facilities, and 117,000 employees. Employees are required to submit proof of vaccination by September 21, 2021.
(07/07/21) Hospitals Pressure Employees to Get Vaccinated as COVID-19 Variants Spread
Several hospital systems are mandating their workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and improve vaccination rates among health care workers. According to the most recent federal data reported by U.S. hospitals, thousands of health care workers remain unvaccinated and yet COVID-19 vaccination mandates are being met with resistance by health care workers, unions, and the public.
(06/30/21) Workers Are More Likely to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine When Their Employers Encourage It and Provide Paid Sick Leave, Though Most Workers Don’t Want Their Employers to Require It
With more employers returning to work, the new KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report confirms workers are more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine if their employer provides sick leave to get the vaccine and recovery time if the employee experiences any side effects. Approximately two-thirds of workers report that employers are encouraging getting vaccinated and 50 percent claim that their employer gives paid time off to get the vaccine and provide time for recovery for any side effects.
(06/28/21) Huge Number of Hospital Workers Still Unvaccinated
There is still a huge number of unvaccinated health care workers in the United States. In the 50 largest hospitals in the US, only 1 and 3 health care workers have been vaccinated. The vaccination rates vary greatly from 99% at Houston Methodist Hospital, which requires the vaccination for its health works, to 30-40% at certain hospitals in Florida.
(06/24/21) Several Mass Health Care Systems Will Require COVID-19 Vaccinations for Workers
Similar to trends seen throughout the United States, multiple large health care organizations in Massachusetts have announced vaccine mandates for their employees. Although these mandates have been announced, they will not start until after the Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccines for general use, as opposed to the current emergency authorization.
(06/23/21) America’s Largest Health Care Union Vows to Fight Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines
Following the announcement of a vaccine mandate from NewYork-Presbyterian, the largest health care worker union in the United States, 1199SEIU, is planning legal challenges against mandates for health care workers. As more hospital systems consider and implement vaccine mandates on their workers, other unions are also vocalizing disapproval, saying that their workers should be allowed to choose to vaccinate.
(6/22/2021) Ohio Vaccine Choice Bill Back in the Spotlight
This article highlights the Vaccine Choice & Anti-Discrimination Act of Ohio State that has generated controversies by allowing people to opt-out of the COVID-19 vaccination amid the recent controversies over vaccine mandates (House Bill 248). The bill received lots of attention after Dr. Sherri Tenpenny’s testimony at a public hearing on June 10 that said that “the COVID-19 vaccine leads to magnetism and causes metal objects to stick to the body of a person.” The bill sponsor said that the bill is intended to protect people who avoid vaccination from discrimination, but many doctors and health professionals are opposing it.
(06/18/21) The Struggle to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Health Care Workers
While healthcare facilities have urged every employee to get vaccinated against COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy pervades among healthcare workers. Healthcare workers have led the vaccination uptake, however, hesitancy has recently increased among front-line workers, including “home health care aides, EMTs and nursing assistants.
(06/16/21) How Do CMS’s New COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting and Education Rules Apply To Different Long-Term Care Settings?
In an effort to clarify the new rules on vaccine reporting from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Kaiser Family Foundation published this issue brief. There are different requirements for both education and reporting depending on the type of long-term facility.
(06/15/21) COVID-19 Vaccine Passports and Health Care Providers
Florida has passed the Senate Bill 2006 that prohibits businesses from mandating to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access services. The new Statute (§ 381.00316) sets “a fine of up to $5,000 per violation” and applies to all private and public organizations in Florida. The bill goes into effect July 1st, 2021.
(06/15/21) Should Hospitals Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination?
This article published by the Association of American Medical Colleges discusses the topic of vaccination mandates for health care workers and the potential consequences of mandates. As some large health systems announce mandates for their workers, others are waiting to see how if vaccination rates will improve over time.
(06/15/21) ‘It’s a Fight You Don’t Want’: Will the Texas Court Ruling Requiring Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Unleash More Cases?
A Texas judge ruled that employees are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a Houston Hospital. This ruling might result in more health care providers requiring their employers to get the COVID-19 vaccination. There are other similar lawsuits pending but this is the first ruling of its kind.
(06/14/21) Court Upholds Houston Hospital’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Policy: ‘Every Employment Includes Limits on the Worker’s Behavior’
A mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy at a Houston Hospital was upheld by the court last week. The judge made his decision after 178 hospital employees from Houston Methodist Hospital had been suspended for refusing to get vaccinated.
(06/11/21) Health Systems Mandating Vaccinations for Healthcare Workers
Several hospitals and health systems across the nation are requiring their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in efforts to increase vaccination rates among health workers and end the COVID-19 pandemic. Some organizations are pushing for deadlines as early as July 1, 2021, and as late as September 15, 2021. This article from Becker’s Hospital Review lists the organizations that have announced COVID-19 vaccination mandates for their employees as of June 11, 2021.
(06/11/21) ‘It’s a Little Late’: US Orders Healthcare Worker Protections After Thousands Die
The US department last week announced an emergency standard to protect health workers in the workplace from the COVID-19 pandemic. The new order requires employers to not allow employees with COVID-19 to work, notify all employees of any exposures at work, and to better ensure that employers report worker deaths and hospitalizations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
(06/10/21) US Labor Dept Issues Emergency COVID-19 Rule for Healthcare Workers
The US Labor Department issued an emergency rule to help better protect health care workers in the health care setting. The rule does not extend to other high risk industries. Hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities will be required within 14 days to implement these rules that include limiting patient visits, new ventilation and screening procedures, and face mask requirements.
(06/09/21) Doctors Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Myths
This article reports that doctors have struggled fighting misinformation of the COVID-19 vaccine. There have been various myths of the vaccine that make people hesitate to vaccinate, including impact to fertility and ingredients that interact with DNA.
(06/09/21) US to Issue COVID-19 Rule for Healthcare Workers on Thursday
This article from CNBC discusses the release of upcoming rules from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which will require health care providers to take additional steps to protect health care workers from COVID-19.
(06/03/21) First in Line, Still No Shot: Surprising Number of Hospital Workers Refuse Vaccines
A recent survey from USA Today covering some of the largest hospitals and hospital systems in the United States found employee vaccination rates as low as 51% and as high as 91%. The lower-than-desired vaccination rates have public health officials worried, as health care workers can be an example for the population at large.
(06/02/21) Mandating Clinician COVID-19 Vaccination May Hinder Population-Level Uptake
New commentary published in the Society of the Teachers of Family Medicine’s journal Family Medicine examines the potential impact of mandatory clinician vaccination on population-level vaccination. The authors recommend using vaccine mandates on providers with caution and consideration in an effort to avoid unintentional consequences.
(06/01/21) Engaging Nursing Assistants to Enhance Receptivity to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine
Long-term care facilities were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in this sector being called the most dangerous job in the nation. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) practicing in long-term care settings provide most of the direct care to residents and represent the largest proportion of nursing home personnel. Despite their role in long-term care, several studies have found that more than half of CNAs reported that they were unwilling to receive the COVID-19 vaccination until a future point in time. This article from The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine discusses the importance of understanding and mitigating vaccine hesitancy among CNAs.
(06/01/21) Texas Hospital Workers Sue Over Vaccine Mandates
This article reports a lawsuit case of a group of 117 workers against the Houston Methodist Health System’s policy that mandates the COVID-19 vaccination. The workers claim that the policy deprive their rights to protect themselves from vaccine side effects, while the center explains that the policy is for protecting its patients and workers.
(06/01/21) Despite Vaccines, Nursing Homes Still Struggle With COVID Outbreaks, Deaths
This NBC News article covers the impact of vaccine hesitancy on nursing homes, where unvaccinated staff are being blamed for outbreaks of COVID-19 that force shutdowns of facilities and contribute to deaths and illness among staff and patients. Although nursing homes were an early and important focus for vaccination, the constant inflow of new patients means these facilities remain high risk.
(05/21/21) Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines Among Health Care Personnel — 33 US Sites, January–March 2021
Newly published data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report finds the currently authorized mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 are highly effective in preventing symptomatic illness among health care providers. The study observed health care workers at 33 sites in 25 states.
(05/21/21) More Hospitals Require Health Care Workers to Get COVID Vaccine
This article from Axios covers news that large health care systems in multiple states have announced mandates for employees to vaccinate for COVID-19. Surveys of health care workers have found this to be a polarizing issue among workers, with nearly 60% saying they would support their workplace mandating the vaccine.
(05/11/21) CMS Expanding Efforts to Grow COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence and Uptake Amongst Nation’s Most Vulnerable
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a new regulation requiring long-term care facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to release information on the vaccination status of both providers and patients, beginning June 14, 2021.
(05/06/21) Asymptomatic and Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections After BNT162b2 Vaccination in a Routinely Screened Workforce
A new study published on the JAMA Network found that hospital workers that received the COVID-19 vaccination were significantly less likely to test positive for COVID-19. The study was conducted by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and analyzed data for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers at the hospital between Dec. 17, 2020, and March 20, 2021. Of the 5,217 workers that met vaccination criteria, 58.5% received at least one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, 53.2% received two doses, and 41.5% remained unvaccinated. The study found that 51 vaccinated workers and 185 unvaccinated workers contracted COVID-19 during the study period.
(05/04/21) Why Lagging COVID-19 Vaccine Rate At Rural Hospitals ‘Needs To Be Fixed Now’
Rural hospitals are concerned with the COVID-19 vaccination rates among their health care employees. According to a survey conducted by the National Rural Health Association and Chartis Center for Rural Health, 30% of 160 rural hospital executives reported that less than half of their employees were vaccinated. The Biden administration has since announced that it would focus on prioritizing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccination doses to providers that practice in high needs areas, including rural communities.
(04/28/21) NMSU Study: COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Health Care Workers Remains a Concern
This article covers a new study from New Mexico State University on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among health care workers throughout the world. The summarizing study found that more than one-fifth of health care workers involved in studies from more than a dozen countries were hesitant to be vaccinated. Male workers, older workers, and workers with doctoral or postgraduate education were most likely to accept vaccination.
(04/26/21) COVID Vaccines More Available, but Mostly Not in Doctors’ Offices
Many physicians across the United States are reportedly unable to provide vaccines for their patients. Just one state, Maryland, has prioritized access to vaccinations for physicians offices across the state, a model the White House has expressed interest in promoting. In other locations, physicians are petitioning their local and state government for the ability to offer the vaccine to their patients.
(04/16/21) Are Health Centers Facilitating Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations? An April 2021 Update.
This issue brief from KFF takes a look at how safety net providers at community health centers are working to vaccinate low-income populations and people of color. Key findings include that a majority of individuals vaccinated at community health centers are people of color, although there are also area for improving reach to people of color.
(04/12/21) Inequity in Vaccinations Isn’t Always About Hesitancy, it’s About Access
This article from the Association of American Medical Colleges provides insight on issues of vaccine access and how providers can organize to improve vaccination rates in hard-to-reach communities.
(04/09/21) Vaccine Hesitancy Among Health Care Workers Raises Concerns
Thousands of health care workers in North Carolina have declined to get the COVID-19 vaccinations, according to an informal survey sent to 32 health systems, representing over a 100 hospitals. Those numbers are significantly less than state health care leaders expected.
(04/05/21) Giving it Our Best Shot – Statewide Vaccination Plans (UPDATED)
This toolkit offers some state-level advisory and guidance on eligibility for vaccine rollouts to help employers as well as health care systems and long-term care determine eligibility for vaccination. Although this list is not all-inclusive, it connects to resources specific to each state.
(04/05/21) Why Doctors and Nurses Can Be Vital Vaccine Messengers
Doctors and nurses have proven to be the most trusted source of information for COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccination. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation and Washington Post survey of health care workers found that nearly 9 in 10 physicians and nurses with master’s degrees report being vaccinated or plan to receive the vaccine. KFF also found that 8 in 10 patients rely on their doctors and nurses to assist with the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
(04/05/21) Should Health Care Workers Be Required to Get Coronavirus Shots? Companies Grapple With Mandates
Silverado, a long-term care company with several locations across the country, is one of the first facilities to require their staff to at least be scheduled to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Several health care companies are debating the need to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations among their workers. A recent poll conducted by Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation found that most health care workers would support such a mandate. However, those that did not plan on receiving a COVID-19 vaccination would rather leave their jobs than be forced to get vaccinated.
(04/03/21) Health Care Providers Work to Ensure Everyone Gets Second COVID-19 Shot
Health care providers in Kern County, California are concerned as many patients are canceling their appointments to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. The Kern County COVID-19 Task Force in collaboration with Dignity health is working to reduce vaccine hesitancy and ensure that residents are receiving their second COVID-19 vaccination.
(04/03/21) Virginia Launches New Volunteer Vaccinator Registry to Expand State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Workforce
The Governor of Virginia has recently signed legislation that will assist with expanding the state’s vaccinator workforce. Dentists, dental hygienists, veterinarians, optometrists, and health profession students are now eligible to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Eligible providers are encouraged to register as a volunteer COVID-19 vaccinator through the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps or the Virginia Volunteer Vaccinator Registry.
(04/01/21) In California, Blue Shield’s Vaccination Takeover Fixes What Wasn’t Broken
This article from Kaiser Health News discusses COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts among California’s Mendocino County rural population. Approximately 40% of eligible adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since March, health insurer Blue Shield has been appointed the lead distributor of COVID-19 vaccinations and will directly supply doses to providers.