COVID-19 vaccine requirement for nursing homes could lead to staff exodus, national association says

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The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living is expressing concern that a requirement that all nursing home workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 could become a "disastrous workforce challenge."

The White House announced the vaccination requirement Aug. 18 as a condition for receiving federal funds.

In response, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said the group appreciates efforts to boost vaccinations in long-term care, but the action falls short.

"The government should not single out one provider group for mandatory vaccinations," Mr. Parkinson wrote in a statement. "Vaccination mandates for healthcare personnel should be applied to all healthcare settings. Without this, nursing homes face a disastrous workforce challenge." 

He added that only focusing on nursing homes "will cause vaccine hesitant workers to flee to other healthcare providers" and "make an already difficult workforce shortage even worse."

The AHCA/NCAL represents more than 14,000 skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Read Mr. Parkinson's full statement here

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