Cash bonuses and vigorous education campaigns have been among the tools used by different types of long-term care operators to increase staff participation in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new report by Forbes columnist Howard Gleckman.
An early December survey of certified nursing assistants found that nearly three out of four workers said they wouldn’t take the vaccine, citing skepticism over the rapidity of its launch and lack of information on potential risks.
In order to overcome this, Gleckman noted some operators have mandated the vaccines for all staff, like they do for routine seasonal flu vaccines. That’s been the case for senior living operator Juniper Communities, which paired the mandate with an “intense education campaign for staff before imposing the requirement.”
New York-based nursing home, continuing care community and home care provider Riverspring Health explained it’s used small incentives, education and encouragement from peers to encourage vaccine uptake in staff members. Incentives include lottery tickets and raffles for gift cards.
The operator has also used short educational videos and discussions led by its medical director. The operator’s goal is to get 60% compliance, which would be in line with the flu vaccine there.
“Every time I walk around, I ask staff if they have gotten the shot. If they do, I say, “Thanks so much,’” Riverspring Health CEO Dan Reingold told Forbes’ Gleckman. “If not, I say, ‘Please get it.’”