South Carolina nursing homes behind on employee vaccinations against COVID-19

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WTOC) - Nursing homes in South Carolina are lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to getting employees vaccinated.

Getting nursing home employees vaccinated was and is a priority for health leaders.

“We believe that nursing home staff not being vaccinated really especially puts nursing home residents who are already very vulnerable at greater risk and we think really at meaningless risk,” said Joe Meyers, Associate State Director Communication AARP South Carolina.

But South Carolina is struggling to meet AARP benchmarks.

“7.8 percent of facilities in South Carolina have 75 percent or more of their staff vaccinated.”

Nationally, Hawaii is doing the best, with 86 percent of nursing homes having at least 75 percent of their employees vaccinated and Kentucky the worst at just 2.7 percent. There are exceptions in our area though, like Fraser Health Care. Which has above 80 percent of their employees vaccinated.

“I think it was determined by the dedication of our staff to protecting the residents and themselves,” said Peter Marshall, Nursing Home Administrator at Fraser Health Care.

Even though they are doing better than the most of the state, Marshall knows efforts can’t just stop here.

“We are encouraging every employee that can to get the vaccination and we are taking into account that there are people with medical concerns or preconceived notions of reluctance.”

And with the recent rise of cases, precautions are here to stay as well.

“The vaccination was essential. We’re continuing to use masks, protective equipment. We’re very concerned and we’ll continue to protect against that resurgence.”

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.