Assisted living staff vaccinations continue to trail behind residents, one company working to change that

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– As vaccination rates soared for most residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, that wasn’t the case for its staff members who were also among the first offered vaccines. 

According to the New York State COVID-19 vaccine tracker, the vaccination rates in Loretto’s assisted living facilities to differ between fully vaccinated staff and fully vaccinated residents anywhere between 20% and 40%. 

While the numbers are clearly lower for staff than residents at Loretto’s facility, Chief Marketing Officer Julie Sheedy said they’re more concerned with the percentage of staff that has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine which puts them closer to 70% of staff across all of their facilities. 

“We track those numbers in real-time… we then submit them to the state through a daily reporting process and then they get uploaded within 24 to 48 hours so you are looking at data that is a few days old when you get to those reports, but it is accurate,” Sheedy said. 

Regardless of the numbers, Sheedy said there are still many staff members who are hesitant to get the vaccine and Loretto has been working with them to share factual information and answer any questions they may have.  

“We always have clinicians on hand, they talk one on one with staff, we look at who isn’t vaccinated yet and ask them what questions they have, we can put them in touch with one of our medical directors which has been very helpful and then it’s a peer to peer situation,” she said. 

Loretto still holds weekly vaccine clinics at various facilities and said the rapidly spreading Delta variant has been a reason why some are now making the decision to get vaccinated. 

“We have been fortunate that as we’ve continued to educate our staff not just on the benefits of the vaccine but also what it means to be vaccinated we continue to see staff stepping up every week to get the shot,” she said.

Sheedy said their other COVID-19 safety protocols continue to be enforced. 

“We screen all of our visitors, all of our employees daily, they can’t walk past our screening kiosk without having their temperature taken and their symptoms checked, we have all the right steps in place,” she said.

For the most recent vaccination rates in assisted living facilities across the state, click here

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