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Why Many Nursing Home Workers Are Not Getting The COVID-19 Vaccines

Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran congratulate the first Ohio nursing home resident to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on December 18, 2020.
Karen Kasler
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Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran congratulate the first Ohio nursing home resident to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on December 18, 2020.

Ohio’s nursing home residents and workers are among the first in the state to be offered the new COVID-19 vaccines. Most residents are taking it, but Governor DeWine says as many as 60 percent of nursing home employees are opting out. Why are so many employees are  balking at vaccination?

Ohio Health Care Association Executive Director Pete Van Runkle says many workers have been refusing the vaccine based on incorrect information.

“They see on social media that the government is putting microchips in you or the government is putting a vaccine out there that hasn’t been properly studied," Van Runkle says.

Ohio’s nursing homes could require workers to get vaccinated but Van Runkle says most probably won’t because they are already short-staffed. He expects many workers who declined the vaccine offered at the first clinic will get it the second time around after seeing others who received it are faring well. Governor DeWine says those nursing home workers who don't get the shots soon might have to wait many more months if they try to get later.

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