Nursing Homes Need Strong Vaccine Pitch to Residents

Juniper has a contract with CVS, which requires each resident and staff member to complete triplicate consent forms before being vaccinated. Where written consent cannot be obtained directly, verbal consent, independently confirmed, may be substituted. Walgreens has similar requirements.

For residents with memory impairment, two Juniper nurses will contact by phone anyone with decision-making authority. “Questions will be asked and verbal consent obtained; the other will act as a witness, ”said Lynne Katzmann, Founder and CEO of Juniper. Separately, pre-recorded vaccine emails, blog posts and voicemail messages were sent to residents and employees of Juniper, starting in late November.

A key message is “we’ve done it before, not at this scale, mind you, and not at this import level, but we do flu shots every year,” said Katzmann, who plans to be the first Juniper employee to obtain the Pfizer vaccine for New Jersey.

At Genesis Healthcare, the crucial messages are: “These vaccines have been studied thoroughly, tens of thousands of people have already received them, they are very, very effective and no step has been missed in the scientific process,” said Dr. Richard Feifer, executive vice president and chief medical officer. Genesis, the country’s largest long-term care company, operates more than 380 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in 26 states, with approximately 45,000 employees and more than 30,000 residents.

Medical directors at each Genesis facility have held video conferences with families, residents and staff over the past few weeks to address concerns. They also distributed a letter and question-and-answer document prepared by the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, in addition to disseminating information via CCTV channels and social media.

In partnership with researchers at Brown University, the company will monitor daily side effects its long-term care residents experience after receiving coronavirus vaccines. Most reactions should be mild or moderate and go away within a few days. They include fatigue, pain at the injection site, headache, muscle aches, fever, and, rarely, allergic reactions.

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Jothi Venkat

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