Federal vaccine mandate for nursing homes will save lives


In 2020, nursing homes were a hotspot for COVID-19, with tragic consequences. How can we prevent this trend from reigniting with the Delta variant? One word: vaccines.

On Aug. 18, President Joe Biden made the right call for nursing home residents and workers when he announced that Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements will not be available to nursing homes that employ unvaccinated workers. The science is clear: Vaccines work, and we need to utilize them if we want to protect our loved ones in nursing homes.

“We applaud the move to get more nursing home staff vaccinated. This will save lives,” said Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog with U.S. PIRG Education Fund. “We’re talking about the most vulnerable people in our country — and we can’t allow COVID to ravage nursing homes again.”

In March, U.S. Education Fund’s research found that COVID cases in nursing homes dropped by 83 percent among residents and 81 percent among staff in the eight weeks after the first vaccinations in nursing homes.

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Photo: In early 2021, with COVID-19 cases surging across the country, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Teresa Murray raised the alarm on nursing home staff shortages in an interview with Scripps National News, aired on The Denver Channel. Credit: Scripps National News via The Denver Channel


Aaron Colonnese

Content Creator, Editorial & Creative Team, The Public Interest Network

Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.

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