“The vaccine hesitancy across the state, especially among the younger populations in our staff is something that we not been able to overcover,” executive director for the Missouri Health Care Association Nikki Strong said.
The Missouri Health Care Association is telling lawmakers they support vaccination, but they don’t support a mandate for staff.
The association represents more than 65% of 500 nursing care facilities in the state. Strong told members of House Subcommittee on Appropriations – Health, Mental Health, and Social Services Tuesday afternoon some staff is threatening to quit if the mandate is enforced.
“We don’t believe a straightforward mandate is the appropriate way to achieve full vaccination in our facilities.”
She said nursing facilities had extreme staff shortages before COVID and have worsened since the pandemic.
“She said to me, I will leave,” Strong said about an employee. “I love long-term care, but I will leave long-term care and I will go into another, a completely different sector.”
“We have lost a tremendous amount of staff due to exhaustion levels, burnout, stress, anxiety or in some cases, people that can stay home and make more money staying home than they can in our facility,” Strong said.