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A major operator of long-term care facilities said it will require COVID-19 shots for its US employees, becoming one of the first big companies to impose a vaccine requirement for its workers.
Atria Senior Living, which has more than 10,000 US workers and operates senior living communities in 26 states and Canada, said Monday that all US employees will be required to take both doses of the vaccine by May 1.
Atria CEO John Moore said the company decided to make COVID-19 shots mandatory because “it’s the responsible thing to do” to stop the spread of the coronavirus among staff and residents, especially since long-term care facilities like Atria have received priority access to the vaccines.
Atria wanted to nudge employees to take advantage of this priority access before CVS Health began the second of the three clinics it will hold at each facility, he said. CVS held a second clinic at one Atria facility on Monday, and Moore was among employees that received his second shot.
“We’re seeing more COVID activity and larger outbreaks in communities among residents and staff. In this world where you get priority access to the vaccine, it just feels like the responsible thing for us to do to stop the disease where we can, if we have the tools to do it,” Moore said in an interview.
Atria will also require new hires who start after CVS completes its on-site clinics to get a shot elsewhere, he said.
Atria appears to be one of the first long-term care companies to require staff to get a COVID-19 shot
Several other long-term care chains that Business Insider contacted, including Brookdale Senior Living, Genesis Healthcare, ProMedica Senior Care, and Signature Healthcare, said they are not mandating COVID-19 vaccines for staff, though they are encouraging staff to get the shots.
According to the American Hospital Association, most hospitals are waiting until the vaccines receive full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration before they decide whether to mandate the vaccine for workers.
Read more: Healthcare workers and long-term-care facility residents should get a coronavirus vaccine first, according to US health officials
“What we’re hearing from our members is that they will likely make determination of requirement of the COVID-19 vaccine based on safety and efficacy data available at the time the vaccines receive full approval, which likely won’t happen until the spring at the earliest,” said Michelle Hood, AHA executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Two COVID-19 vaccines from drug companies Pfizer and Moderna have received emergency-use authorization from the FDA.
So far, nearly 9 million people in the US have received the first dose of the two-dose vaccines. In most states, healthcare workers, along with staff and residents at long-term care facilities, were prioritized to receive the first shots.
The vaccine rollout at long-term care facilities has been slow, with less than 1 million shots administered
The vaccine rollout has lagged at long-term care facilities, whose residents are among those at highest risk for COVID-19. Most states opted into a federal program in which …read more
Source:: Business Insider