AHCA/NCAL Holds #GetVaccinated Virtual Town Hall to Help Improve Vaccine Confidence

COVID-19; Events; AHCA/NCAL Updates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, held a virtual town hall event today as part of its nationwide #GetVaccinated campaign. The event brought AHCA/NCAL leadership together with long term care staff from across the country to discuss the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

“The COVID-19 vaccines have been the life-saving turning point long term care residents and staff have been waiting for,” said AHCA/NCAL Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Gifford. “Since vaccine rollout began last Decenber, the number of COVID cases and deaths within long term care facilities have reached historic lows. We are extremely encouraged by the progress we’ve made, but we still have more work to do. There are some who still have questions about the vaccines, and we remain committed to doing all that we can to improve vaccine confidence.”

The virtual town hall panel included Gifford and Dr. Sarah Berry, an academic geriatrician in musculoskeletal health at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston. Panelists spoke to hundreds of long term care staff members about the safety and efficiency of the COVID-19 vaccines, the positive impact they have made on the sector and reinforced the fact that getting vaccinated is free and easy to do. The town hall supports the White House’s National Month of Action to encourage as many Americans as possible to get at least one shot by July 4. Additionally, AHCA/NCAL hopes that the event will bring them one step closer to reaching the industry goal of getting 75 percent of all nursing home staff vaccinated. 

“Education has really been the key in boosting uptake rates among long term care staff,” continued Gifford. “Our goal from the beginning was to equip long term care residents, staff and families with the facts so they can make an informed decision. We hope today’s event answered important questions, alleviated concerns and persuaded people who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. The more people we can get vaccinated, the better we can protect ourselves and those around us, especially vulnerable long term care residents.” 

AHCA/NCAL’s #GetVaccinated campaign, funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offers a dedicated website – www.getvaccinated.us – to help educate and encourage caregivers and staff at long term care facilities to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The website includes credible information from renowned medical professionals, public health officials, and scientists to help answer common questions about the vaccines. It also encourages vaccinated staff to share their personal experience and reasons for getting vaccinated on social media.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org.