Why nursing home staff and residents may be skipping the COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 11:38am

Last week, AARP released data showing that just 22% of nursing home residents and 15% of staff are up to date with the latest COVID-19 booster. So why are some folks skipping out?

Dave Voepel is the CEO of Arizona Health Care Association, which represents the state's roughly 147 skilled nursing homes. 

"I still believe that goes back to the wild west mentality of, ‘We are independent, we are free, and we are going to do what we want to do.’ And that's probably one of the overriding things. Also, you know, people are just tired of vaccines. They don't want to hear it anymore," said Voepel.

Voepel says while it would be great to have pharmacies come out once again like they did when the vaccines first came out… 

"ADHS, or the Arizona Department of Health has been going out and running mobile clinics, as well. So and they've been, we've been advertising, so to speak, to long-term care facilities that they are available."

Voepel says AHCA is educating facilities about what he calls the "triple-demic:" flu, RSV and COVID-19. 

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