Ahead of federal mandate, Alabama Nursing Home Association working to raise COVID-19 vaccination numbers

Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Nursing Home Association is working to bring its COVID-19 vaccination numbers up across the state.

Currently, about 83% of residents in Alabama nursing homes have been vaccinated while about 60% of staff have. The organization says that with the release of the vaccine, deaths in their facilities have significantly dropped. However, they did see a slight increase in cases when the Delta variant was first introduced.

To help see an increase in vaccination numbers, the ANHA is working to provide educational tools on the importance of taking the vaccine, as well as provide financial incentives and consultants to speak to those unsure of taking the vaccine.

This comes as the federal government is expected to announce a federal vaccine mandate at nursing home facilities sometime this month.

“Certainly, if a mandate comes out and there is no opt out say for testing or anything like that, it could have a negative impact on our workforce. Maybe there will be an opt out or a testing option for the vaccine mandate and that would have a lesser impact on our workforce,” said John Matson, director of communications for the ANHA.

Matson said that until the federal mandate is announced, the association will continue providing vaccine educational awareness.

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