Maryland health officials push to get nursing home employees vaccinated

Nursing home employees who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 are putting the most vulnerable among us at risk, according to officials at the Maryland Department of Health, who continue naming names in an effort to get healthcare workers to get those shots.

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"Our view is that if you’re going in to take care of nursing home residents who are our most vulnerable citizens, you really need to get vaccinated," Secretary of Health Dennis R. Schrader told FOX 5 Monday. "We’ve gotten to a point where people just need to face the facts."

A big part of that effort in Maryland is releasing the names of the top 10 nursing homes in the state ranked by staff vaccination rate – as well as the bottom 10 nursing homes and also nursing homes the state said haven’t submitted adequate data.

Other local jurisdictions have been waging the same battle. D.C. Muriel Bowser announced Monday that all District healthcare workers would be required to receive at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of September.

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Schrader stopped short of saying the same for Maryland. Asked whether he’d like to see nursing homes in the state require vaccinations among employees, Schrader replied, "we’re not there yet, but I definitely want to keep pushing. Hopefully they’ll do it because they want to do it. We’ll see."

Multiple nursing homes that were listed as being among Maryland’s bottom 10 in staff vaccination rates, as well those listed as not providing adequate data, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.