NEW YORK — The nation’s largest nursing home operator told its workers this week they will have to get COVID-19 vaccinations to keep their jobs.
"Despite vaccination rates above the national average, the growing spread of the delta variant makes clear that we need to increase our vaccination rates substantially to better protect our patients, residents and employees,” said Harry Wilson, chief executive officer of Genesis Healthcare.
The company has 70,000 employees at nearly 400 nursing homes and senior communities.
Wilson said the company would have preferred a voluntary process, but added that the "commitment to health and safety outweighs concerns about imposing a requirement."
"Universal COVID-19 vaccination provides the safest and most effective course of action to ensure the health and welfare of our patients, residents and staff," Wilson stated.
Multiple news outlets report workers can opt out of getting the vaccine by citing medical or religious concerns.
Numerous advocacy groups and health organizations have called for long-term care workers to get the vaccine.