More long-term care operators in Massachusetts are expected to start mandating COVID-19 shots for all employers after one of the first major providers in the state announced its own policy for workers this week.
“We hope our announcement will be a springboard for others,” said Adam Berman, Legacy Lifecare’s president and chief executive.
The Massachusetts-based long-term care provider operates skilled nursing facilities, traditional and memory care, assisted living residences and independent living across five campuses throughout the state. On Wednesday, officials announced they will require staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, the Boston Globe first reported. The mandate will go into effect once one of the three COVID vaccines receive full federal approval, which is expected to happen this year.
The move came just days after several large hospital systems in the state announced it will require COVID shots for all employees. The Massachusetts Senior Care Association said Legacy is believed to be the state’s first long-term care provider to mandate the vaccine, according to the report.
“I would anticipate other organizations may follow,” association president and CEO Tara Gregorio said. She also added that her organization is hopeful providers can increase the number of immunized staff through similar efforts.
“Vaccine hesitancy among our frontline healthcare workers persists, and both an employer and government mandate may be needed to achieve the highest possible vaccine uptake rate to ensure the safety and well-being of the Commonwealth’s nursing facility residents and staff,” she told the news organization.
The expected trend comes as more providers nationwide consider staff COVID vaccination requirements. Large long-term care operators in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio have also announced vaccine mandates for staff in a push to boost overall immunization rates.