This Week's Drive for 75: March 1 2021

Workforce | March 04, 2021 | by Dee Pekruhn

LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Calls will 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 One: Air Date 3.3.21: “Vaccine Availability in the News”

Today, Jill Schumann discussed the exciting development that Merck – usually a market competitor to Johnson & Johnson – will designate two of their production facilities to the manufacture of the J&J vaccine. One facility will be dedicated to the manufacture of the vaccine, and the other to the “fill finish” process that makes vaccines ready for distribution. This is projected to eliminate two key barriers to vaccine availability. $105 million has been designated by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of HHS to assist Merck in converting their facilities for the production of the J&J vaccine. The Biden Administration has mobilized the Defense Production Act to equip the Merck production line machines, and the Department of Defense will provide logistical support. Four million doses are expected to be shipped by the end of this week, and 100 million by June.

· Volume Two: Air Date 3.4.21: “CMS Report: The Movable Middle”

A Task Force of behavioral health scientists from CMS has assembled a COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake Report that was just made public. Led by Dr. Lee Fisher, the Task Force found that there are three general groups of people as categorized by their acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine: Adopters, Refusers, and The Movable Middle. The report advises that efforts be focused on The Moveable Middle – individuals who are hesitant to take the vaccine but whose minds can be changed. Recommended behavioral strategies to influence The Moveable Middle include: making it easy to get vaccinated; influencing and boosting motivation to get vaccinated; and building trust in vaccine safety. Vaccine Adopters may be mobilized in influencing and encouraging The Moveable Middle group to accept the vaccine; efforts should be made to minimize the negative influence that Vaccine Refusers may have on The Moveable Middle.