Connecticut to mandate COVID-19 boosters for hospital, nursing home workers

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The Connecticut Hospital Association is requiring a COVID-19 booster dose as part of its statewide mandatory vaccination policy for hospital and health system workers and clinical staff, the association said Jan. 6. 

The association cited hospitals' responsibility to protect patients, visitors and staff, as well as recent data showing that a booster dose improves vaccine effectiveness, especially against the omicron variant.

In June, the association adopted a consensus, statewide policy reflecting a commitment by the state's hospitals and health systems to implement mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. 

"Connecticut hospitals have been united in an aggressive response to the pandemic, caring for more than 47,000 COVID-19 patients, standing up mass testing centers, educating the public about COVID-19 infection and prevention, and leading the successful effort to administer hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccine," the association said. 

Meanwhile, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Jan. 6 that he signed two executive orders requiring booster shots for workers at long-term care facilities and state hospitals by Feb. 11. The requirement will apply to facilities including nursing homes, residential care homes, assisted living services agencies, and chronic disease hospitals. It also applies to those who are employed by, provide services in, or make regular or frequent visits to Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services state-operated hospitals.

"That will pay dramatic dividends. That will open up capacity in our hospitals, make it easier for us to transfer people from hospitals to nursing homes and allow us to get back to more regular hours in our nursing homes," the governor said during a press conference. 

Jeffrey Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford (Conn.) Healthcare, praised the state's efforts in a message to employees, which was shared with Becker's.

"Hartford HealthCare fully supports this decision, which is firmly based on scientific evidence and supported by data," he wrote. "Boosters are highly effective in preventing the most serious effects of the coronavirus."

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