Vaccination rates low among long-term care employees in McPherson County

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By Jessie Wagoner

 

The state has set a goal of having 90 percent of long-term care facility staff vaccinated for COVID-19. Data recently released shows McPherson County facilities have a long way to go to meet the goal. 

“The importance of vaccinations for individuals who work with the older population so profoundly impacted by COVID-19 can’t be overstated as the decision to get vaccinated can not only protect their health, but the health of their colleagues, patients and their families, and the communities they serve,” Laura Howard, secretary of the state Department for Aging and Disability Services, said in a statement.

Those living and working in long-term care facilities were the first group of people to have access to the COVID vaccine. Residents, in large numbers, were vaccinated, though employees have been slower to take the shot. In McPherson County, not a single long-term care facility has hit the 90 percent goal. 

The state is anticipating a new federal regulation that will soon require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if the nursing home participates in federal Medicare and Medicaid. The formal rules for a staff vaccine mandate are expected to be released in mid-September. In advance of the mandate, the state is encouraging all long-term care staff to be vaccinated. 

Moundridge Manor currently has the highest vaccination rate with 85 percent of staff vaccinated. McPherson Operator, LLC, also known as McPherson Health and Rehab has the lowest vaccination rate. Only 16 percent of their staff has been vaccinated. The following table shows the vaccination rates for the facilities in McPherson County participating in federal Medicare and Medicaid.

Nursing Home City Vaccination Rate

Bethany Home Association Lindsborg 59 percent

McPherson Operator, LLC           McPherson 16 percent

Moundridge Manor Moundridge 85 percent

Pine Village Moundridge 39 percent

Pleasant View Home Inman 49 percent

Riverview Estates Marquette 66 percent

The Cedars McPherson 54 percent