Workers in adult facilities, home health agencies, long-term home health programs and hospice care have until Thursday night to get their first COVID shot.
There are about 250,000 home health workers nationwide, and it is estimated that one in five has not been vaccinated. This means that as many as 50,000 will not be able to work on Friday.
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Lynette Williams, a home health worker, said she would not receive the vaccine under any circumstances.
“They need us,” she said. “Why are you taking our rights and their rights to be taken care of now?”
Many agencies now prioritize high-risk patients and plan overtime for vaccinated workers, but experts point out that sending replacements is not that simple.
“If you have a person who is a bariatric patient who weighs 300 pounds, they are matched with an aid that can help them safely transfer from the bed to the wheelchair, the walker, the toilet to the tub,” says New York’s president at Home Care Association in New York. Said Al Cardillo. “You have to find the right match.”
Cardillo says a recent poll among some of its members revealed that nearly 11,000 home health aides say they will voluntarily resign along with close to 900 nurses, each with a caseload of about 20 people. This means that more than 17,000 patients will be affected.
“Since the pandemic, the influx of the workforce has been reduced to the influx,” Cardillo said.
The fear is that unlike other industries where vaccinations increased just before the deadline, it will not happen here. Experts point out that most home health workers earn minimum wage and simply find other jobs. “
On what will likely be her last day on the job, Williams said it’s in God’s hands now and that she’s only thinking about her client.
“They get so excited that I’m there to take care of them,” she said. “It makes my day and their day even better.”
Meanwhile, a vaccination mandate may not be far behind for firefighters in the NYPD and New York City.
About 60% of these first respondents are estimated to have been vaccinated, and until now, weekly testing has been an option for non-vaccinated members.
Both NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro say they are for or make vaccines mandatory and they have indicated that it will come.
“I would support a vaccination mandate,” Shea said. “I’ve said it from day one. I think science health the emergency we are in makes sense.”
Nigro said New York’s Bravest, who does not hesitate to run into burning buildings, should have no qualms about getting shot.
“I think it’s time for people to have a long time to think about this in order for our members to get a mandate,” Nigro said. “We are out there treating the public, their families deserve it, they deserve it and the public deserves it.”
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But Thursday morning, the city’s largest police association said it has not been notified of policy changes.
The Police Benevolent Association says that even if it supports vaccines for its members, it will fight any mandate.
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