Huge numbers of workers at New York nursing properties nonetheless haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-019 — with greater than 60 % of staffers at some metropolis services refusing to get the jab, state information exhibits.
The vaccination charges amongst employees drastically path that of vulnerable residents on the identical services, sparking outrage from advocates who warn it may impede their potential to go to family members within the properties.
“If staffers choose not to get the vaccine, they should find another line of work,” stated Vivian Zayas, founding father of Voices for Seniors, whose mother, Ana Martinez, died after contracting COVID-19 at a Long Island nursing home final 12 months.
“If they want to work in a nursing home, they should get the vaccine.”
As of Sunday, solely 58 % of staffers within the 611 nursing properties statewide had been been partially or absolutely vaccinated — vastly decrease than the 84 % of residents, in response to State Health Department information reviewed by The Post.
In New York City’s 167 nursing properties, simply 57 % of staffers had gotten their photographs, in comparison with 78 % of residents.
The borough with probably the most dismal vaccination fee amongst nursing home staffers was Brooklyn, the place solely 47 % had been inoculated, nicely under the 71 % of residents.
And at 20 metropolis services, an incredibly low variety of staffers — 60 % or extra — had but to be vaccinated, The Post assessment discovered.
- At the 280-bed Linden Center nursing home in Brooklyn, solely 25.5 % of staffers have been vaccinated — in comparison with 54.5 % of residents. Linden Center basic counsel Richard Brum stated, “Since the vaccines first became available, we have been actively encouraging all staff and residents to get vaccinated.”
- At the 305-bed Sea Crest Nursing and Rehab Center, simply 29.2 % of staffers, and simply 29.3 % of residents have acquired photographs. The facility did not reply to a request for remark.
- Just 28 % of staffers had been vaccinated on the 90-bed High Bridge nursing home at Woodycrest Center, which focuses on caring for these with HiV/AIDS. That’s solely a 3rd of the 74 % of residents inoculated. The nursing home declined remark.
- Only 28.5 % of employees had been vaccinated on the New Riverdale Rehab and Nursing home in The Bronx, lower than half the 65.2 % resident/affected person inoculation. A rep who answered the telephone stated, “We don’t speak to the media.”
- In Manhattan’s Harlem Center for Nursing & Rehab, 28 % of workers had been vaccinated, whereas 46.2 % of residents had been. The facility had no fast remark.
- At the Peninsula nursing home within the Rockaways, Queens — simply 25.8 % of staffers had been absolutely vaccinated in comparison with 42.3 % of residents. Peninsula declined a request for remark.
Advocates for nursing home residents stated the decrease vaccination fee for staffers is a major problem.
Nursing properties might be absolutely or partially closed to visitation if only one individual within the facility assessments constructive for COVID-19, to stop the unfold of the killer virus to the weak residents.
There must be extra effort to encourage staffers to get vaccinated, stated Richard Mollott, government director of the NY Long Term Care Community Coalition.
“The issue is the lack of preparation and education leading up to the announcement of the vaccines,” Mollott stated, noting the state and federal authorities ought to have achieved a greater job forward of the vaccine rollout final fall when it got here to educating employees and residents concerning vaccine acceptance.
“We need to have meaningful enforcement in order, coming from the state to the facility and from the CMS to the state… If your staff members are vaccinated at a higher rate, then you would have some level of herd immunity in a facility. How do you get to that rate? It requires people getting the vaccine.”
Mollott famous many nursing home aides come from minority communities the place there was larger resistance to getting the vaccine, due to a historical past of prior medical abuse of individuals of coloration.
“We have a system that has been broken for a long time and when COVID hit it was exacerbated,” he stated.
The low vaccination charges amongst nursing home employees has been a source of tension between state Health Department officers and the power operators.
Last month, DOH issued new steerage requiring nursing properties to supply all residents and staffers the vaccine, and people who decline should signal an opt-out assertion. Nursing properties who flout the foundations could also be fined as much as $2,000 per violation.
“Nursing homes have an obligation to vaccinate their residents and staff, and as a result of DOH’s continued intervention we’re seeing progress,” stated DOH spokesman Jeffrey Hammond.
“Their responsibility to vaccinate is not over, nor is our influence and outreach to ensure facilities understand that a COVID vaccine is one of the best ways to protect residents and staff from this dangerous virus,” the DOH spokesman added.
The state’s controversial dealing with of the virus in nursing properties and different long run care services has borne a number of investigations each on the state and federal stage.
The Post exclusively reported in February that prime officers in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration withheld information associated to COVID-related deaths amongst nursing properties residents from the US Department of Justice, admitting they “froze” when federal officers reached out for info.
The Democratic-led state Assembly can also be wanting into how the administration handled nursing home demise information all through the pandemic, a key tenet of the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry launched in March.