ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Seniors housing operators are rushing to host vaccine clinics for residents and staff, hoping to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic that has depressed occupancy across the industry. By the end of the month, 83 percent of communities expect to complete at least one vaccine clinic, with more clinics on the way for future doses.
That’s according to a pair of surveys conducted by Argentum, an Alexandria-based national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities. The surveys, one in January and one in February, polled Argentum’s membership.
Vaccine uptake among residents continues to remain strong. Over 90 percent of respondents reported the vast majority of residents — 81 to 100 percent — wanted the vaccine.
Vaccine uptake among staff continues to vary but is showing signs of improvement. Approximately one-third of respondents indicated that staff vaccination rates were over 60 percent in February, up from 11 percent in January. In addition, 76 percent of respondents that have started second clinics reported increased interest from staff in getting vaccinated.
Just under 5 percent of respondents indicated they have mandated vaccinations for staff, while another 40 percent of respondents are considering a vaccine mandate.
Most companies are using a variety of approaches to educate residents and staff to get vaccinated. Approximately 94 percent of respondents reported that direct communications from leadership are being widely used to educate residents and staff regarding the benefits of vaccination. This is followed by posters (83 percent), email (77 percent), videos (66 percent), seminars (57 percent) and brochures (47 percent) being used for this effort.