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President Biden calls for vaccine mandate for workers in long-term care facilities

WESH Orlando logo WESH Orlando 8/19/2021

President Joe Biden is taking new steps to increase America's vaccination rate.

That includes a potential mandate that will require staff at all nursing homes in the country to be vaccinated.

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The president is saying if long-term care workers do not get the shot, facilities will lose federal funding for Medicare and Medicaid.

Related: Florida AARP urging Gov. DeSantis to mandate vaccine for nursing care staff, residents

A recent AARP report shows Florida is one of the worst states for nursing home staff vaccination rates, at 45%. The vaccination rate for residents is 72%.

President Biden's move, however, is not without criticism.

Brian Lee is the executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Families for Better Care.

Video: President Biden calls for vaccination mandate in nursing homes (WESH Orlando)


His organization found that across the country, only 36 nursing homes are fully vaccinated, meaning 100% residents and staff.

Among those, he says, there's been only one COVID-19 case, but he thinks tying federal money to the vaccine could worsen an existing staff shortage.

"It's not like they have this bull pen full of staff they could just call out to the mound."

"What would happen to the residents?"

The answer to that question remains to be seen.

AARP is urging Gov. DeSantis to mandate vaccinations for all nursing care staff and residents.

There have been some ideas to get more vaccinated, like $1,000 bonuses to employees who get their shot, which management says has worked well for some.

At Gardens at DePugh Nursing Center in Winter Park, they're not supporting a vaccine mandate, because they also face the same staffing concerns.

READ THE FULL STORY:President Biden calls for vaccine mandate for workers in long-term care facilities

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