The Importance of COVID Vaccination for all LTC Employees
There is a lot of misinformation that can influence individuals to remain unvaccinated. In October 2021, the Emergency Rules for Facility Personnel in Long-Term Care Settings required all unvaccinated employees in Illinois to attend 90 minutes of training and education on the COVID-19 vaccination in preparation for a potential mandate. The required training presents information about vaccine options, ingredients, and safety, so that hesitant individuals can make an informed decision with the correct information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To meet that requirement, Forum Extended Care hosted an October webinar, COVID-19 Vaccination Training for Unvaccinated LTC Employees to Fulfill Illinois Mandate. Pamela Bryan Kramer, Executive Vice President of Forum; Bryan Kramer, President and Chief Information Officer of Forum; and Deb Patterson Burdsall, Ph.D., RN-BC. CIC, FAPIC, with the Hektoen Institute, and the Illinois Department of Public Health present the facts on available vaccines, how safe they are, and their benefits.
Anyone can contract COVID, and the symptoms vary from nonexistent to death. The best defense against the contagious virus is one of the three available vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson. COVID vaccines work on a cellular level to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. A vaccine will teach your immune system to recognize and fight the virus to protect you from severe illness or death and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Studies show that even people who have had COVID are better protected against getting COVID again with a vaccine than relying on natural immunity.
COVID vaccines have gone through the most intense safety monitoring process for any vaccine made. With more than 3.65 billion doses administered worldwide, there have been no long-term side effects detected, and global results show no unexpected patterns of reaction or safety concerns. In addition, it is safe to get the flu or other shots at the same time as the COVID-19 injection.
Misinformation is a massive deterrent for individuals to get vaccinated and one most widely spread piece of misinformation about the COVID vaccines is that they contain microchips. The webinar explained that it would be nearly impossible to identify who received what chip on a logistical level. Like animals that are chipped in case they are lost, information would need to be preloaded onto a chip to work correctly. Above all—the vaccines do not contain metal because they were created to fight a disease, not track individual movements.
Why is all this information relevant and required for unvaccinated personnel working in LTC? Individuals working in LTC encounter many people throughout the day, including residents, family members, vendors, volunteers, and other staff members. Vaccination is not only a personal defense against COVID but a prevention method to keep others safe from the potential spread of infection. The required education and training equip individuals with accurate information to make informed decisions about COVID vaccines.
The October webinar is full of factual information sourced from the CDC. It fulfills the unvaccinated training mandate for Illinois and empowers individuals to make an educated choice on vaccination and which vaccine is right for them.
Click here for the October webinar.