Last week the Biden administration said it would require that nursing home staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. Locally, nursing home service provider Immanuel said it will begin requiring vaccination as a condition of reporting starting on Nov. 1.
“Our mission is at the forefront of this decision. Those we serve, our seniors, are at the greatest risk from COVID-19. Vaccines have proven to be one of the most effective tools to keep COVID from entering and spreading in our communities and centers,” explains Dr. Devin Fox, Immanuel Medical Director.
At this time, Fox said about 80% of Immanuel’s employees are vaccinated but a surge in cases as the delta variant wreaks havoc across the country, and fears that another variant is on the horizon has brought a renewed sense of urgency to require vaccinations.
Employees will still be able to apply for exemptions based on medical conditions or religious beliefs but starting on Oct. 1, all other employees will be required to present proof of a first dose and full vaccination by Nov. 1 to comply with the police.
“We did not come to this decision lightly nor without much thought. We respect the rights of our employees to choose, but the people we serve have entrusted us to protect them. Immanuel has to make a choice that is in the best interest of the seniors we serve and those we serve alongside of,” Fox says.