ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that all nursing homes must require all staff to get vaccinated or lose funding.
Biden issued the directive because vaccination rates among staff in many nursing home facilities is low.
At Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center in Rockford, nearly 80% of the staff are vaccinated and 99% of the residents as well.
Nationwide, the Center for Medicaire for Medicaid Services reported 80% of nursing home residents are vaccinated. Meanwhile, just 60% of staff nationwide are vaccinated.
Christine Hintzsche is the assistant administrator at Fairhaven, and said, “We held five clinics here for our residents and our staff, and we were able to send out a lot of messages to remind our staff.”
Hintzsche says their above-average percentage is a reflection of the team’s hard work.
Loren Cabral, Fairhaven’s Director of Nursing and Infection Control Preventionist, said, “My role was to educate, to set up the clinics, to get information on where to get the vaccine. It was really hard, at first, to talk about it in general, because there was a lot of misinformation with social media and non-medical people’s opinions.”
“If this is going to help bring things back to normal, we’re all in,” Hintzsche said.
Through education and one-on-one conversations, Fairhaven has been able to allow family visits again, which Hintzsche said was made possible by their high vaccination rates.