Federal Vaccination Mandate for Nursing Home Workers Gets Broad Support in NJ

by Lilo H. Stainton, Health Care Writer, NJ Spotlight News

This story is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. Link to FULL story: njspotlight.com/2021/08/president-federal-vaccination-mandate-nursing-home-workers-broad-nj-support-but-fear-lost-funding/

Nursing homes in New Jersey and nationwide could lose millions of dollars in federal funding if more of their workers don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a plan outlined by President Joe Biden last week. National regulators are now drafting emergency regulations to require full staff immunization.

Leaders in New Jersey’s long-term care industry welcomed the concept of a federal vaccination mandate in addition to the existing state requirement that health care workers be immunized or regularly tested, although some said withholding funding was not the right way to increase vaccination.

The leader of the state’s largest health-care workers union—which has opposed outright vaccination mandates—offered more nuanced support.

“All healthcare workers have shown enormous courage and made great sacrifices to care for patients, including nursing home residents, on the frontline of this rapidly mutating virus,” Debbie White, a nurse and president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, or HPAE, the largest health care union in the state, said in a statement.

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