Gabrielle Canon here, taking over for the afternoon from the west coast. Thanks for reading along!
As deadlines near for healthcare workers to comply with mandatory vaccination laws issued in several states, some hospitals and nursing homes fear that staff shortages are imminent, The Associated Press reports.
This week in states like New York, California, Rhode Island, and Connecticut the front-line workers will have to get a shot or walk.
In New York, where some suspensions are already being rolled out, hospitals have started creating contingency plans, cutting back on some services, and curbing new entries to nursing homes. The state has also prepared to call in medically-trained members of the National Guard to lend a hand.
“How this is going to play out, we don’t know. We are concerned about how it will exacerbate an already quite serious staffing problem,” California Hospital Association spokesperson Jan Emerson-Shea told AP, emphasizing that the organization is in full support of the mandate.
Roughly a dozen states have issued the requirements for health care workers, with some offering medical or religious exemptions.
From the AP:
States that have set such requirements tend to have high vaccination rates already. The highest rates are concentrated in the Northeast, the lowest ones in the South and Midwest.
The Biden administration also will require the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid to be fully vaccinated under a rule still being developed.
That has worried some hospital officials, particularly in rural communities where vaccination rates tend to be lower.
“We are looking at the need to reallocate staff, in some cases just to maintain services that are essential, and there are going to be some delays” in care, said Troy Bruntz, president and CEO at Community Hospital in McCook, Nebraska.