If New York is any indicator of how vaccine mandates work in long-term care facilities, the industry could soon be in good shape. Several Empire State providers struggling to get staff vaccinated saw their rates jump immediately after the rule went into effect Sept. 27.
Twenty New York City area nursing homes with the highest rates of unvaccinated workers all experienced significant jumps in their staff inoculation rates between Sept. 25 and 29, according to a report by the Gothamist. More than a dozen saw their rates increase more than 20 percentage points — with several reaching the 99% mark.
The Highbridge-Woodycrest Center, a 90-bed facility in Bronx, NY, with 120 employees saw its staff vaccination rate jump from 56% just before the mandate went into effect. The figure reached 98.6% by Wednesday, according to state data. Additionally, just four staffers left the provider over the mandate.
State health officials confirmed the increase in vaccination coverage was due to a rise in shots and not a loss of employees, the report stated.
State data as of Monday shows that 97% of long-term care staff have been vaccinated. The current national average is 64.5% staff per facility vaccinated, according to federal data.
Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association, last week said the ultimate goal for providers is to reach the 100% mark, though it may take time.
“Providers in New York are continuing to do everything they can to educate workers, educate those who are laid off of the importance, efficacy and safety of the vaccination,” Hanse said.