Vaccine Rollout Hits a ‘Snag’ as Health Workers Balk at Shots

Those who can have it, don't want it

The desperately awaited vaccination drive against the coronavirus in the U.S. is running into resistance from an unlikely quarter: Surprising numbers of health care workers who have seen firsthand the death and misery inflicted by COVID-19 are refusing shots.

It is happening in nursing homes and, to a lesser degree, in hospitals, with employees expressing what experts say are unfounded fears of side effects from vaccines that were developed at record speed. More than three weeks into the campaign, some places are seeing as much as 80% of the staff holding back.

“I don’t think anyone wants to be a guinea pig,” said Dr. Stephen Noble, a 42-year-old cardiothoracic surgeon in Portland, Oregon, who is postponing getting vaccinated. “At the end of the day, as a man of science, I just want to see what the data show. And give me the full data.”

Alarmed by the phenomenon, some administrators have dangled everything from free breakfasts at Waffle House to a raffle for a car to get employees to roll up their sleeves. Some states have threatened to let other people cut ahead of health care workers in the line for shots.

“It’s far too low. It’s alarmingly low,” said Neil Pruitt, CEO of PruittHealth, which runs about 100 long-term care homes in the South, where fewer than 3 in 10 workers offered the vaccine so far have accepted it.

Many medical facilities from Florida to Washington state have boasted of near-universal acceptance of the shots, and workers have proudly plastered pictures of themselves on social media receiving the vaccine. Elsewhere, though, the drive has stumbled.

While the federal government has released no data on how many people offered the vaccines have taken them, glimpses of resistance have emerged around the country.

In Illinois, a big divide has opened at state-run veterans homes between residents and staff. The discrepancy was worst at the veterans home in Manteno, where 90% of residents were vaccinated but only 18% of the staff members.

In rural Ashland, Alabama, about 90 of some 200 workers at Clay County Hospital have yet to agree to get vaccinated, even with the place so overrun with COVID-19 patients that oxygen is running low and beds have been added to the intensive care unit, divided by plastic sheeting.

The pushback comes amid the most lethal phase in the outbreak yet, with the death toll at more than 350,000, and it could hinder the government’s effort to vaccinate somewhere between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population to achieve “herd immunity.”

Administrators and public health officials have expressed hope that more health workers will opt to be vaccinated as they see their colleagues take the shots without problems.

Oregon doctor Noble said he will wait until April or May to get the shots. He said it is vital for public health authorities not to overstate what they know about the vaccines. That is particularly important, he said, for Black people like him who are distrustful of government medical guidance because of past failures and abuses, such as the infamous Tuskegee experiment.

States have begun turning up the pressure. South Carolina’s governor gave health care workers until Jan. 15 to get a shot or “move to the back of the line.” Georgia’s top health official has allowed some vaccines to be diverted to other front-line workers, including firefighters and police, out of frustration with the slow uptake.

“There’s vaccine available but it’s literally sitting in freezers,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey. “That’s unacceptable. We have lives to save.”

Nursing homes were among the institutions given priority for the shots because the virus has cut a terrible swath through them. Long-term care residents and staff account for about 38% of the nation’s COVID-19 fatalities.

In West Virginia, only about 55% of nursing home workers agreed to the shots when they were first offered last month, according to Martin Wright, who leads the West Virginia Health Care Association.

“It’s a race against social media,” Wright said of battling falsehoods about the vaccines.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said only 40% of the state’s nursing home workers have gotten shots. North Carolina’s top public health official estimated more than half were refusing the vaccine there.

SavaSeniorCare has offered cash to the 169 long-term care homes in its 20-state network to pay for gift cards, socially distanced parties or other incentives. But so far, data from about a third of its homes shows that 55% of workers have refused the vaccine.

CVS and Walgreens, which have been contracted by a majority of U.S. nursing homes to administer COVID-19 vaccinations, have not released specifics on the acceptance rate. CVS said that residents have agreed to be immunized at an “encouragingly high” rate but that “initial uptake among staff is low,” partly because of efforts to stagger when employees receive their shots.

Some facilities have vaccinated workers in stages so that the staff is not sidelined all at once if they suffer minor side effects, which can include fever and aches.

Source: Associated Press

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yuri
yuri
2 months ago

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Jim Yost
Jim Yost
2 months ago

Coronamania Quotes (Regarding deranged hypocrites like Dr. Falsie and Bill Gates and people in power who they control, their face diaper mandates, the ‘Lockdowns,’ the vaccines, etc. and the ever growing public outcry against them and their agendas):

Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed.” Isaiah 10:1 in the King James Version
“Men seldom, or rather never for a length of time and deliberately, rebel against anything that does not deserve rebelling against.” Thomas Carlyle
“The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.” Frederick Douglass
“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” Henry David Thoreau 
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, pervasive, and unrealistic.” John F. Kennedy.
“It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.” Eric Hoffer
“Those who fervently seek the annihilation of others are really driven by the longing for self-annihilation.” Emile Durkheim
“All ambitions are lawful except those that climb upward on the miseries and credulities of mankind.” Henry Ward Beecher 
“If all else fails, immorality can always be assured by spectacular error.” John Kenneth Galbraith
“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.” Frederick Douglass
“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Frederick Douglass
“The defiance of established authority, religious and secular, social and political, as a worldwide phenomenon may well one day be accounted the outstanding event of the decade.” Hannah Arendt, 1969 
“The greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is by human beings who refuse to be persons.” Hannah Arendt
“Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is rotten to the core.” Hannah Arendt
“Totalitarianism in power invariably replaces all first-rate talents regardless of their sympathies, with those crackpots and fools whose lack of intelligence and creativity are still the last guarantee of their loyalty.” Hannah Arendt
“Before man’s leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of men who can fabricate it.” Hannah Arendt
“Love by its very nature is unworldly, and it is for this reason, rather than its rarity, that it is not only apolitical but antipolitical, perhaps the most powerful of all antipolitical forces.” Hannah Arendt 
“If you give someone power, they’re going to use it.” Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
“Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.” Murphy (from Murphy’s Laws)
“It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.” Murphy.
“If you build a system that a fool can use, only a fool will use it.” Murphy
“The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The Law of God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watcheth the righteous and seeketh to slay him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the Lord and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: Yea, I sought him but he could not be found.” Psalm 37:30-36 in the King James Version.

Anti-Empire