Assisted living group praises vaccine mandate

Coronavirus

A healthcare worker fills a syringe with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, August 11, 2021. – All teachers in California will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to weekly virus tests, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on August 11, as authorities grapple with exploding infection rates. The number of people testing positive for the disease has surged in recent weeks, with the highly infectious Delta variant blamed for the bulk of new cases. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

BOSTON (SHNS) – The Baker administration’s decision to expand a caregiver vaccine mandate to workers in assisted living facilities will “further reinforce the safe and healthy environment” immunization against COVID-19 helps create, the head of a major industry group said Wednesday.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Association President and CEO Brian Doherty, whose group had previously declared support for a vaccine mandate in the field, praised the administration’s new policy that requires all staff in rest homes, assisted living residences, and hospice programs as well as in-home, direct care home workers to get vaccinated by Oct. 31.

“While most assisted living staff are vaccinated, this will further reinforce the safe and healthy environment that high rates of vaccination and robust infection control policies have helped us achieve,” Doherty said. “Many assisted living providers have proactively mandated the vaccine for their staff, and we thank the state for leveling the playing field to ensure that all staff are subject to vaccine mandates, which will help keep residents safe and healthy while also stabilizing the workforce.”

The expanded mandate, which builds on a requirement issued last month for skilled nursing facility and soldiers’ home workers, also drew praise from the Massachusetts Senior Care Association and the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association.

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