Hawaii long-term care staffers are more than doubling mainland counterparts in coronavirus vaccinations, according to a new survey. 

A report by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii revealed that long-term care facilities in the state have an average of 78% of staff getting vaccinated.

In comparison, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that just 38% of long-term staff in the US were getting vaccinated. In addition, Hawaii nursing home residents were getting inoculated at a 90% rate, compared to a nationwide average of 78%, according to the CDC.

Hawaii providers intimated that their vaccination numbers are likely even higher by now because at the time the survey was conducted (Feb. 4-10) some operators hadn’t held their second clinic yet.

Operators credited frequent communication, leadership and educational resources as the reason for the higher rates. 

“It’s a testament to their hard work in educating staff and working with our federal partners and the Hawaii Department of Health to vaccinate both staff and residents,” said Hilton Raethel, president and CEO of the association. 

“They have also found that vaccination rates rise over time, as more healthcare staff become comfortable with being vaccinated for COVID-19, and have opportunities to receive the vaccine at subsequent clinics,” he added. 

HAH noted that facilities found the following tactics worked best to achieve higher vaccination rates:

•  Frequent communication through written, verbal, one-on-one, and virtual networking meetings

•  Engaging leadership to receive vaccine first, to inspire confidence in staff

•  Supplying frequent education and sharing of resources with staff, residents, and families

•  Engaging community cultural leadership to speak with racially diverse staff

•  Holding frequent Q&A sessions with public health leaders and medical leadership

•  Supplying apparel providing recognition of a staff’s COVID vaccination

•  Incorporating communication strategies and educational resources from the CDC, Hawaii Department of Health, and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living

•  Holding drawings and raffles for staff who received a vaccine