Quantcast
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Health Care Workers Still Subjected to Vaccine Mandates

'Their regulations are making it harder to give care – not easier...'

(Headline USAOne year after it began being enforced nationwide on Feb. 20, 2022, the vaccination mandate affecting an estimated 10 million health care workers is the last remaining major mandate from President Joe Biden’s sweeping attempt to boost national vaccination rates. Similar requirements for large employers, military members and federal contractors all have been struck down, repealed or partially blocked.

The health care vaccination mandate is scheduled to run until November 2024. But some contend it’s time to stop now, citing fewer severe COVID-19 cases, health care staffing shortages and the impending May 11 expiration of a national public health emergency that has been in place since January 2020.

“Their regulations are making it harder to give care – not easier,” said Tim Corbin, the administrator of Truman Lake Manor who also doubles as a nurse, adding that “the mandates need to end.”

The policy requires workers, contractors and volunteers at facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid payments to have the full primary dosage of an original COVID-19 vaccine.

The Republican-led U.S. House recently passed legislation that would halt the mandate, but the bill is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-led Senate.

Meanwhile, the requirement continues with mixed results and — in some cases — widespread exceptions.

It’s hard to find workers willing to be vaccinated, Corbin said, because many local residents remain opposed to the vaccine or doubt its effectiveness. Just 42% of adults in St. Clair County are vaccinated against COVID-19 — a rate barely half the national average.

Workforce shortages are causing more than half of nursing homes nationally to limit resident admissions, according to the American Health Care Association, which represents long-term care facilities. Though most other health care sectors have rebounded, nursing home employment was down 13% in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels and reached lows not seen since the 1990s.

Nationwide, about 5% of the over 15,000 nursing homes caring for Medicare or Medicaid patients have been cited for violating the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and about 2% of the 4,900 hospitals, according to the AP’s analysis. But those citations haven’t been evenly spread among states and occurred less often during the latter half of 2022.

Twenty-four states cited no hospitals for COVID-19 vaccination violations.

Texas, which has the most nursing homes nationally participating in Medicare or Medicaid, had just one nursing home cited for violating the vaccination rule.

Kansas, Florida and Texas each declined to check for vaccination violations, instead leaving that process to CMS, which hired contractors. As a result, CMS said Texas was docked more than $2.5 million in federal funding, Florida more than $1.2 million and Kansas nearly $350,000.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat who faced reelection in a Republican-leaning state, said last year that the vaccine mandate conflicted with state law and could worsen workforce shortages.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

Copyright 2024. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner other than RSS without the permission of the copyright owner. Distribution via RSS is subject to our RSS Terms of Service and is strictly enforced. To inquire about licensing our content, use the contact form at https://headlineusa.com/advertising.
- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

TRENDING NOW