Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Healthcare industry employees, regardless of function, have been under the microscope since the COVID-19 vaccine has become available. Earlier this year, many clinical workers cited multiple concerns including a rushed FDA approval process and unknown side effects.
While nursing facility residents and personnel were among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, many still declined. According to a March study of 300 nursing facilities released last month on the CDC website, 75.1 percent of physicians were vaccinated, but only 45.6 percent of nursing aids were vaccinated. The percentage of vaccinated nurses totaled 56.7 percent, therapist totaled 69.2 percent, ancillary service employees totaled 58.5 percent, and all other staff totaled 68.5 percent. The researchers correlated low vaccination rates with low income, less education, and higher proportions of ethnic and racial minorities.
In July, a study 469 COVID cases with the Delta variance in Barnstable County, Massachusetts showed that while the county had a 69 percent vaccination rate, 74 percent of the cases were in fully vaccinated individuals. Of the breakthrough infections, 79 percent were symptomatic with cough, headache, sore throat, myalgia, and fever. The time period between last vaccination date and the start of the symptoms was 86 days. According to the case study, the real-time RT-PCR Ct values in the fully vaccinated patients were similar to the 84 patients that were unvaccinated.
Although no deaths were reported, 4 of the 5 patients that were hospitalized were fully vaccinated. The one unvaccinated hospital case was shown to have multiple underlying conditions.
A breakdown of cases for those that were vaccinated were as follows: 48 percent Pfizer vaccine, 38 percent Moderna vaccine, and 16 percent Janssen vaccine. Of the overall population in Barnstable, 56 percent had received the Pfizer vaccine, 38 percent had received the Moderna vaccine, and 7 percent had received the Janssen vaccine.
The speculation is that the case in Massachusetts was a contributing factor to the CDC’s sudden announcement of the reversal of the previous guidelines not requiring masks and quarantine for fully vaccinated individuals. Additionally, under the new guidelines for the fully vaccinated, the CDC now states, “Preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.”
Even with the moving CDC announcements, it seems that government and employers are already adopting their own policies, moving forward in droves with a mandated vaccine even in light of the Massachusetts cases. According to a recent Becker’s Report, as many as 82 hospitals and health systems across the country are mandating the vaccine for all employees in order to retain employment.