According to this article from NPR, many medical professionals who care for COVID-19 patients have struggled to get vaccinated. Clinicians in private practice, healthcare workers who work for staffing agencies, and several who are not directly employed by hospitals or long-term care facilities say they have been overlooked during the vaccine rollout.
Carlos Reyes, who is a certified nursing assistant at nursing homes in central Massachusetts assumed he would be getting the vaccine as a frontline healthcare worker. But when he asked his nursing homes about getting a shot, the answer was “no.” “It feels as though we have been forgotten,” said Reyes, who works for a nurse staffing agency. He picks up shifts at four or five different nursing homes in Massachusetts, and none of them agreed to vaccinate him.
Between 5% and 10% of staff in nursing homes are people like Reyes. His staffing agency, IntelyCare, surveyed their nurses and nursing assistants in Massachusetts and more than half report being told they cannot get the shot.
“It’s a big oversight that was not factored into the rollout plan,” said Chris Caulfield, the chief nursing officer at IntelyCare, which operates in 15 states and employs 15,000 nurses and certified nursing assistants. “We’ve seen our employees throughout the country having the same frustration.”
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