Monday, December 21, 2020

WSJ: Nursing Home Workers Hesitate Over Vaccine

On Friday, I told you that Northampton County Council has approved a $750 cash incentive for Gracedale workers who agree to a Covid-19 vaccine. That may have been the right call. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that nearly 72% of certified nursing assistants are hesitant to get a vaccine. This is based on a survey conducted by the Nat'l Ass'n of Health Care Assistants.  Responses indicate that staffers feel as though they are guinea pigs. 

This story notes that unnamed lawyers have advised this vaccine can be mandated. That, however, is contrary to advice provided to the county by its own lawyers. It is also contrary to the express language of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which provides that an employee has the option "to accept or refuse" a vaccine that has only been approved for emergency use. 

The money for this will come from CARES Act money provided to the county-owned nursing home for "infection control." Unfortunately, this money is restricted to Gracedale and the county has no authority to use it to pay incentives to workers at the jail or juvenile justice center, where the risk of community spread is high. 

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The whole problem with NorCo's "incentive", is that it was done before knowing if it is/was needed. While great debate rages across the country over who will have access to the vaccine first, NorCo has chosen to give incentives to those who are first in line without even seeing how many would get the vaccine without an incentive.

Thanks to the premature "incentive", we'll never know how many Gracedale workers would have gotten the vaccine, and how many have real objections or concerns to it. For the latter group, it's highly unlikely that $750 is going to overcome REAL concerns, but county politicians will surely say that the incentive was instrumental in whatever number of Gracedale employees opt in.

Even if NorCo mirrors the WSJ average of 72% being "hesitant", that still leaves 28% who aren't. And how many of those who are "hesitant" would still get vaccinated without an incentive? Surely some - if not many - would.

So that means that at least a third (and likely much more) of the incentive money is being wasted. For a nursing home that's experienced one of the highest number of cases and deaths in the state, surely that money could have gone to other "infection control" measures at Gracedale.

I guess I'm hoping there are other infection control measures being taken at Gracedale and the administration has been doing more than sitting around waiting for things to pass while the cases and bodies piled up. At the very least, it seems like another case of misplaced priorities and politicians finding a way to use funding intended primarily to benefit residents and instead using it for something that provides a benefit to them politically (like greasing the hands of government employees).

I expect more from county government, and government at all levels. Unfortunately, we seldom get even a minimum level of competence.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It appears that it is needed, contrary to what you say. I would say that if 72% of CNAs are opposed, it is needed.

Anonymous said...

Should we be concerned that health care workers are opposed? Do they know something we don't or are they simply misguided? All of this crap is so political, I don't know whom or what to trust. The more impressive the well-choreographed dog-and-pony shows, the more nervous I become.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think most in the health care industry want the vaccine, but nursing home workers apparently feel differently. They feel they belong to a segment of our population that no one cares about, as evidenced by some of the selfish comments I saw in my previous post on this topic.

This is not crap but a pandemic and it needs to be taken seriously. It has become political but that should never have happened. I trust Dr. Faucci, who has endorsed the vaccine. I appreciate the honesty and transparency of the general responsible for the logistics. Instead of hiding the small number of people who have experienced side effects, the government has been very open. When it is my turn, I will get the vaccine.

Anonymous said...

I need to see more people take the vaccine before I get one Too scary

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernie,

In response to your post at 10:28 a.m., I believe that the vast majority of people are taking the pandemic seriously and, as I have stated before, I have not seen one person without a mask (unless at a pool) since the mandate was put in place. Additionally, most people are isolating and distancing, as per the current protocol. With that said, I am concerned by Covid, particularly, the lasting impact of the virus, but I will not be at the head of the line for a vaccine. It is ironic that we don't trust government in many areas, but suddenly, when a vaccine is rushed through the testing and approval process, the government is to be trusted. Nope, I'll wait and take my chances. If I die, I die.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said: "I would say that if 72% of CNAs are opposed, it is needed."


But the article doesn't say "opposed". It says "hesitant". That's a big difference, and implies that many of those who are "hesitant" would still get the shot when it was offered to them.

I'm hesitant. But when I have the chance, I'll get the shot. Without any incentive. Like a huge majority of the rest of us (in the private sector and other county departments) will.

Sorry, but NorCo's just blowing our money at Gracedale.

Anonymous said...

I've never not taken a vaccine. I've also never taken one before it was more widely distributed and my physician had answered all of my questions. This was very rushed (understandably) and is a bit different from previous vaccines. I can understand peoples' reservations. If these vaccines prove as effective as we're told, it'll be one of our country's more remarkable accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

11:32 am and 12:07 pm -

I fully understand your reasoning.

Now the big question: Would you change your mind for $750?

Anonymous said...

I was hoping that politicians would be the first to receive the vaccine and see how many die off before I get mine!

Anonymous said...

12:07PM

Calling this a vaccine is a colloquialism, like calling DNA a blueprint.

It's MRNA Gene Therapy, Gene priming, and not a vaccine in the traditional definition or common understanding.

The proposal to conduct Gene Therapy on a widespread population through injections gives an appearance of being a transitional vaccine, so the term "vaccine" is used as a colloquialism in an attempt to familiarize something totally new(Gene Primers), with something routine, well understood, and beneficial, like traditional vaccine where contagions have been isolated. Traditional vaccines are tested against those cell isolates. There are no cell isolates of covid-19 in existence, unlike every traditional vaccine ever created and administered.

Anonymous said...

I'd be more than willing to take the vaccine, in their stead.

Anonymous said...

Good Job O'Hare. Which one of the boys sent you this information. You did your job an posted it. You have definitely earned your $750.

Anonymous said...

Disgraceland

Anonymous said...

I will take it when I see Biden receive his on national TV.

Anonymous said...

$750 before the government taxes....

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It's MRNA Gene Therapy, Gene priming, and not a vaccine in the traditional definition or common understanding."

Thank you for your comment. I agree it is gene priming, but would not call it "gene therapy" bc doing so presumes you have the virus. It is an mRNA vaccine, and I believe that calling it a vaccine is accurate. It certainly is more accurate than gene therapy, but the best phrase is the one you used - "gene priming." I lack your medical knowledge, but everything I've read tells me this should prove to be far superior to traditional vaccines. Wikipedia has a pretty good explanation here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_vaccine#History (That's for laymen like myself. I think you are a bit beyond that level.)

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I was hoping that politicians would be the first to receive the vaccine and see how many die off before I get mine!"

Many politicians are doing just that, and none have died. Doing so should persuade the public this is safe.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I will take it when I see Biden receive his on national TV."

He did.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Good Job O'Hare. Which one of the boys sent you this information. You did your job an posted it. You have definitely earned your $750."

This story was sent to me Sunday night by a Republican friend. I do not have a subscription to the WSJ. He does and sent me a pdf of the entire story, which I appreciate.

Anonymous said...

Why the issue? My son works at St. Luke's and has taken his first Pfizer shot and no reaction to it. Get a grip people. Think of the possible alternative.

Anonymous said...

3:50 pm: No amount of money would make me put something into my body that hasn’t been completely researched and properly tested. $750, to me, wouldn’t even make me think twice.

Anonymous said...

So why don't the county elected officials get the vaccine if they want others to get it. They should not take the $750. That would send a strong message.

Anonymous said...

If someone doesn't want the vaccine 750 isn't going to make a difference, in fact, the objective should be to convince people to want to take the vaccine, offering money makes the vaccine suspect.

Anonymous said...

8:09pm - "(That's for laymen like myself. I think you are a bit beyond that level.)"

Bernie....you are so full of it. Layman my ass ...nice inversion, touché.