Nursing home staff members in Illinois have alarmingly low vaccination rates. Recent news and surveys found that some nursing homes have less than 1% of nurses at long-term care facilities in Illinois who have received their vaccines while only 2% of nursing assistants have been vaccinated against the virus.
This is concerning because these health care professionals are responsible for caring for people who are immune-compromised and may not be able to fight off an infection as well as healthy people can. Covid-19 is responsible for nearly half of all deaths in elderly individuals.
What Happens With Less Nursing Home Staff Getting Their Vaccines?
With the low vaccination rates, the numbers of nurses and nursing assistants could be expected to have higher virus-related illness or death. The lack of staff vaccinated also leads to longer periods when patients are exposed to infection since there is a shortage of medical professionals available to take care of them.
In case you’ve placed your senior under the care of nursing facilities, make sure they receive the best care possible for their health. If you’re an Illinois resident, learn more about long-term care in this state at the Preventable Disease Resource Center (PDRC) website.
While there are a few cases of nursing abuse in the US, many are not reported or resolved quickly. It’s important to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure your loved one is safe and getting the proper care they need.
What Are The Benefits Of Getting Vaccinated?
While there are some side effects to vaccines, most people do not experience them and they don’t last long. There have been few cases where someone has died from a vaccine-related illness.
Vaccines are widely available and many health care professionals recommend getting vaccinated because it can save your life by preventing viruses such as the Covid-19 virus from causing serious diseases like pneumonia, flu, or death.
Some of the known benefits of getting your shot include:
- Prevents severe illness and death
- Getting yourself immune to a virus can keep you from getting sick or dying.
- Protects others around you
- When there are more vaccinated people, it protects those who cannot get the vaccine such as infants and pregnant women.
- Strengthens your community’s immunity
- Prevents virus from spreading and mutating
- A healthy population that is more productive
- Helps prevent antibiotic resistance from other bacteria
Why Should Nursing Staff Get Vaccines?
Older people are highly susceptible to infections and illnesses. Half of all deaths from Covid-19 occur in individuals over 65 years old. With nursing staff keeping patients safe through caring for them while ill or after surgery, it is important to ensure they are protected against diseases that could potentially hurt their health like the virus or spread easily among people who are already sick with other conditions.
Nurses and nursing assistants are responsible for providing care to people who cannot fight off illnesses as well as healthy individuals can, including those who have compromised immune systems.
Getting vaccinated is important in preventing the spread of viruses that could be potentially harmful to elderly patients or others with weaker immune systems such as infants and pregnant women. Additionally, the number of sick people who could potentially die will decrease when more medical professionals are vaccinated against these viruses.
What Can Be Done To Improve Vaccination Rates Among Nursing Staff?
While there has been some progress in increasing vaccination rates among health care staff, many facilities still struggle with low numbers that put patients at risk for illness or death from infection.
Older adult facilities can take steps to improve vaccination rates, such as:
- Making sure staff is aware of the importance and benefits of vaccinations. Providing easy access for medical professionals to get their shots on-site or through a local health care center that delivers vaccines quickly.
- Making it part of annual training programs for new employees so that they are up-to-date on the latest vaccines.
- Creating a healthy, safe environment through infection control measures to prevent illness and disease from spreading quickly among patients in long-term care facilities.
- Encouraging nurses/staff currently working at nursing homes without high vaccination rates to get their shot so that all residents benefit from increased immunity against dangerous viruses.
The governor of Illinois requires nursing facilities to encourage employees and residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible. By requiring nearly all health care workers at long-term care facilities to be up-to-date on their vaccinations, it will help protect patients from getting sick or dying due to an infection they would not have otherwise contracted.
Possible Reason Why People Don’t Get Their Vaccines
While the number of nursing staff who get vaccinated continues to increase, some still choose not to. Understanding why can help nursing homes and other facilities improve vaccination rates even more.
Some staff members avoid choosing the needle because they believe it is unnecessary or will make them sick like when they were a child (or in their case for older adults). Others may simply forget due to busy schedules and the lack of time to go do so.
In other instances, it could be due to a medical condition such as allergies which prevent them from getting certain vaccines.
While vaccines are created to help people, there are still some who avoid getting them. By implementing mandatory vaccinations for all health care workers in Illinois nursing homes and continuing to increase vaccination rates among patients can help prevent the spread of dangerous viruses that could harm elderly residents or people with un-weakened immune systems.