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Hospital and nursing home workers in Missouri are choosing to delay getting the COVID-19 vaccine — and that’s raising concerns

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 35.2%. 3 min read.

The reluctance among health care workers mirrors some of the concerns of the broader population.

She is unsure if she’ll get her questions answered before the next clinic and says she may wait until the vaccine is offered at doctor’s offices. Whitfield is among a significant number of hospital and nursing home staff not taking advantage of their priority status to get the vaccine despite their important role in caring for patients and setting an example for others to follow. “Right now, just looking at how many people have received an invitation to get the vaccines and how many have actually signed up and received the vaccine, that hovers anywhere between 45% and 65%” among the BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s Hospital facilities that make up the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task, said Dr. Alex Garza, the task force director. The rate of vaccination across the state so far in hospitals and nursing homes is unknown.

Many of the nursing home and hospital officials reached by the Post-Dispatch were reluctant to provide specific numbers. “We’ve seen very good participation with our (nursing home) residents, which is very encouraging, but our staff is, you know, a lot of them are concerned,” said Nikki Strong, executive director of the Missouri Health Care Association representing facilities across the state. Americare Senior Living, with facilities across five states including 64 in Missouri, reports that at its vaccination clinics held so far, over 90% of residents typically show up to begin the vaccination process.

Among Black respondents, 60% were very or somewhat likely to get the vaccine. Garza said hospital officials are discussing setting a deadline for workers to commit to whether they want to get vaccinated. “Then we can say, ‘OK, you’ve been offered your chance, and it’s fine if you want to decline now, but then we are going to call ourselves “mission complete” and move on. ’”While BJC HealthCare and Mercy hospital system declined to discuss specifics, an SSM Health spokeswoman said the hospital system made headway this week and gotten doses into nearly 75% of its staff who directly care for patients. Feeling that vaccine shipments have become more steady and its hospitals will be able to provide the required second doses for its staff, SSM Health hospitals are preparing to expand offering shots to health care workers in the community, such as doctors and nurses in clinics and private practices, school nurses and EMS staff, spokeswoman Stephanie Zoller said in an email. In the St. Louis area, only the St. Charles County and St. Louis County health departments have received small amounts of vaccine and begun vaccinating these groups, which include dentists and therapists. State health officials notified hospitals late last week that they need to help vaccinate health care workers outside their walls, Zoller said. “We have no idea how big that 1A population based in the community is,” she wrote.

“They did not do any polling or data collection to give us any idea on size, so we are working through that now. ”$150 bonusHospital and nursing home administrators say they are doing all they can to educate staff about safety of the vaccine and answer questions through emails, conference calls, virtual meetings, video presentations, pamphlets and one-one-one meetings. They are trying to craft responses that address the diversity of concerns as well as debunk myths such as the vaccine alters DNA or causes infertility. Dr. Aamina Akhtar, chief medical officer at Mercy Hospital South and infectious diseases expert, said health care workers have a role as leaders in the community. “We’ve asked the community to mask up and help us out, so now it’s back to our turn to stand up, get vaccinated and demonstrate we are willing to do that,” Akhtar said, “so that when the community gets the opportunity to get the vaccine, they are able to do the same. ”Some nursing homes are trying monetary incentives to encourage vaccination among employees.

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