Drive for 75: Resources from Week 15

Regulation | June 11, 2021 | by Jill Schumann

LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Calls feature brief segments called “Drive for 75” to promote the successful vaccination of at least 75% of our aging services providers’ workforce, and as needed, residents, by June 30. We will cover developments in the news, research, and innovative practices that support our members in attaining high vaccination rates.

This Week’s Highlights:

Volume Thirty Nine: Air Date 6.7.21. “Updated Resources and Global Study”

As we enter the last month of our Drive for 75 Campaign and the Biden administration’s push for herd immunity during the month of action, we wanted to share a few updates and resources.

First, we have reached over 300 million vaccine doses in the US to date according to the CDC data. 64% of adults have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. Fourteen jurisdictions have reached the 70% goal. Of those 65 years of age and older – 75% are fully vaccinated and 86% have received at least one shot. So, kudos for those numbers, but we still have a way to go for those in all the other age groups. We will keep up those efforts this month.

Second, a recent study from the Imperial College of London examined global attitudes towards a COVID-19 vaccine. The study involved a survey of residents from 15 countries around the world: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The UK and Israel led the pack in trust for a vaccine with 87% and 83% respectively. South Korea and Japan had the lowest trust in the vaccines at 47%. The study also looked that the perceptions of the different brands of vaccines and noted that the top concerns were side effects and that the vaccine had not been sufficiently tested. There is a link to the report if you are interested to see how the US compares to 14 other countries.

Finally, to follow up on our recent speaker and an update from a couple weeks ago on the Month of Action, we wanted to share the resource materials and list of events that are scheduled throughout June. Here are links to the events highlighted so far throughout the country. In addition, this is a link to the extensive resource library from the Made to Save and We Can Do This organizations that are the main partners in the month of action.

Volume Forty: Air Date 6.9.21. “Each One Reach One Real Life Example”

In a Drive for 75 session in April, we explored the idea of Each one reach one, each one teach one, which dates from a time when slaves in the United States taught one another to read and write. We have heard from many experts that this individual approach works for vaccine encouragement. One-on-one conversations with careful, non-judgmental listening and good information may be the most effective way to help individuals be more willing to get the vaccine. Today, Nicole Fallon from the LeadingAge policy team, joins us to share a recent experience she has had.

Nicole shared that a friend of hers who focuses on healthy behaviors, including masking had intentions to get a vaccine, but had not yet done so. Nicole wondered kindly what might be holding her back. Her friend indicated that she was worried about the long term effects of the mRNA vaccines since it was new technology. Might it cause cancer several years down the road? Nicole explained that the mRNA vaccine sends a message to our bodies to teach them how to fight the virus, then the mRNA dissipates and goes away in a day or two. Her friend found the explanation helpful and got her first shot the next day.

Volume Forty One: Air Date 6.10.21. “Four Point Strategy to Increase CNA Vaccinations”

A paper published June 1 in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long Term Care Medicine, outlined strategies that can be used to increase the willingness of Certified Nursing Assistants to receive the vaccine. CNAs are lagging other healthcare professionals in vaccination rates and the authors note that CNAs have historically had lower rates of vaccinations for flu shots than nurses or physicians, which suggests that some different strategies may be needed to address the varied and unique concerns of CNAs.

The authors emphasize four actionable and practical strategies to address CNA vaccine hesitancy. They suggest that CNAS need: Information, Resources, Support and Opportunity.

  1. Information – the data, knowledge and expertise needed to be willing to receive the vaccine. This information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine needs to be provided by trusted leaders and provided in culturally relevant ways. CNAs also need to be engaged in dialogue with organizational leadership that is rooted in clear, consistent, comprehensive, and constant bidirectional communication.
  2. Resources refers to the time, materials, money, supplies and equipment necessary. Easy access to the vaccines, paid time off for people suffering side effects, understanding that the vaccines and vaccination will be free of charge, are examples of the resources that will be helpful.
  3. Support from colleagues is a good reinforcer. CNAS who participate in vaccination efforts should be recognized as contributing to the community. CNAs who serve as champions for others to become vaccinated should especially be cultivated and recognized.
  4. Opportunity relates to conditions that allow an employee to develop knowledge and skills to grow their career. CNAs benefit from opportunities to help design and lead such things as vaccine town halls, vaccine conversations and vaccine campaigns. . Strategies that focus on providing CNAs with opportunities to shape when and how vaccines are delivered support an assets-based approach to addressing vaccine hesitancy. Such an approach has been shown to be a powerful driver for employee behavior.

The authors believe that providing CNAs with information, resources, support, and opportunity will not only serve to improve vaccine receptivity but may also have downstream benefits. Engagement strategies will also increase the impact CNAs have on organizations and help them find meaning in their roles. These strategies seem valuable in many contexts and not just for CNAs.