Presbyterian Communities to require staff to be vaccinated
Staff at a local nursing home will soon be required to roll up their sleeves for one of the three COVID-19 vaccinations. Presbyterian Communities of Florence announced last week that it is implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for staff members. The policy is being enforced at all six Presbyterian Communities of S.C. sites. “This tough decision came after much thought, discussion and prayer,” said Dr. Franklin Fant, president and CEO of the Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina. “As caregivers, our decision about being vaccinated impacts the health risks of others.” A news release added that the decision was made for three reasons: a recent surge in the number of positive COVID-19 test results in South Carolina, the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and a federal directive that all nursing home employees must be vaccinated in order for the nursing home to be able to continue to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. Fant also acknowledged that the mandatory vaccination policy could result in the loss of employees. Approximately 70 percent of the staff at the six nursing homes have been vaccinated. The company is also offering a $100 bonus for each vaccinated staff member along with forums with health care experts on the vaccines. All staff at the facilities are required to get at least one dose of one of the three vaccines or have been granted a medical or religious exemption by Sept. 27. Second doses must be received by Oct. 29.