There is a growing frustration in the nationwide rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. By the end of December, only 2.8 million vaccines had been administered, far short of the goal of 20 million, and concerns are growing around contracted staff — representing 5% to 10% of staff in facilities — being excluded. We need everyone on the front lines to get vaccinated to bring this pandemic to a swift end. Here are some tips from my own experience in ensuring your contracted employees get vaccinated.
Research the requirements. CVS and Walgreens have put together robust resources to educate long-term care facilities as part of the Pharmacy Partnership for the Long-Term Care Program directed by the CDC. All the resources are available to download and present to your employees, as well as clients, to assist in the process of securing the vaccine for your contracted employees. The process is simple, with CVS or Walgreens scheduling directly with each Long-Term Care Facility for two vaccine administration dates (e.g. first dose, second dose) and a potential third date. Each employee will need a completed consent form and a copy of an insurance card (front and back if applicable). The consent forms are available to be downloaded and distributed to employees to present for vaccination.
Be proactive and an advocate for your employees. Reach out to your clients about having your employees vaccinated. Find out what dates the vaccine is being administered and request to be included in any estimates of dosage to CVS or Walgreens. Having researched the process, you can add more value with your clients by delivering completed consent forms and insurance cards in advance of the scheduled vaccine clinic. The vaccine can only be at room temperature for 1 hour, so preparation is vital to have your employees included.
Educate your employees. Some employees might be hesitant to take the vaccine. Recently, ShiftMed sponsored a webinar with the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA), during which the physicians from the AMDA — The society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine — educated participants on the details required to get FDA approval for the Covid-19 vaccine. During the session, you could sense a lot of the hesitancy evaporate. FDA approvals typically require a minimum of 3,000 participants; however, the Pfizer and Modern a trials both had between 30,000 and 50,000 participants. The panel explained that part of the success was attributed to the number of people who volunteered to participate in this trial due to the toll Covid-19 has taken on everyone. Hearing from physicians who had received the vaccine that morning and had full confidence in the safety of the vaccine helped to dispel many of the rumors that were swirling around the discussion. Interestingly, a CVS whitepaper found that your own doctor was the most influential person on helping with vaccine hesitancy. Use these resources to educate your employees, which is the best way to alleviate concerns and encourage them to get vaccinated.
Everyone must play a role in the successful distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines which will eventually enable us to safely enjoy life with our loved ones again.