Should I Allow Unvaccinated Caregivers To Provide In-Home Care for my Loved One?
As of August 16, 2021, many of the largest healthcare organizations in the United States have opted not to mandate vaccines for their employees. While it is widely accepted that being vaccinated is the best way to protect against the spread of COVID 19, these mandates would nonetheless leave healthcare organizations critically short-staffed. With the Delta variant surging and options narrowing, how should a family weigh the risks of receiving care from an unvaccinated healthcare professional?
Presently, if you visit many large hospitals across the US, you’ll be receiving care from at least some un-vaccinated individuals. Healthcare professionals continue to decline the vaccine in sizeable numbers, and healthcare employers continue to struggle to reach adequate staffing in this climate.
Home healthcare has been impacted by the same challenges. Our charge has been to do all we can to incentivize as many Caregivers as possible to become vaccinated. To do so, Commonwise is offering bonuses in the thousands, paid time off, and educational consultations to encourage un-vaccinated staff to take this important step. However, a number of caregivers remain un-vaccinated, opting instead to subject themselves to strict protocols which include pre-shift wellness and exposure attestations, universal KN-95 masking, and other internal protocols that are even more stringent than the CDC guidance for healthcare workers.
However, with the Delta variant surging, more and more families in need of care are requesting “vaccinated caregivers only”. While this is a very reasonable desire, it is simply not possible given the facts above. In these moments, our role has been to educate callers about the limitations dogging the healthcare industry and invite them to consider a hard question: Are the risks associated with receiving care from an unvaccinated caregiver preferable to the risks of not having care at all?
To answer that question, families need to fully understand those risks. To support clients in that analysis, we have partnered with a trusted source to provide an analytical framework for you to consider. Please note, this framework is not a substitute for speaking with your physician about your specific risks but could provide you with data that supports that conversation.
- Even in the face of the Delta variant, the single most important step you can take to preventing serious illness and death from COVID 19 is to get vaccinated.
- You can analyze your COVID 19 risk by using this risk calculator which is informed by the latest statistics, immunity prevalence information, and peer-reviewed data pertaining to the COVID 19 pandemic.
- In many cases, if you are vaccinated, receiving care from an unvaccinated caregiver who is masked and taking appropriate precautions can be a low-risk proposition that enables your loved one to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
We hope this information and resource will be useful as you analyze your risks and benefits.