Shawnee Nursing Home Employee Says She’s Willing To Quit Over Vaccine Mandate For Long-Term Care Workers


Monday, September 20th 2021, 6:36 pm
By: Erika Lee


OKLAHOMA CITY -

A pending federal mandate will require COVID-19 vaccinations for long-term care workers.

However, one Oklahoma nursing home worker in Shawnee said she is willing to leave her job if the mandate takes effect.

The woman News 9 talked to wants to remain anonymous but said she will walk away if she must.

According to data from the CDC, nursing home vaccination numbers in Oklahoma have stayed relatively the same since Biden's announcement.

Currently, 83% of nursing home residents are fully vaccinated and 51% of staff are fully vaccinated in the state.

The woman we talked with shared why she is not vaccinated.

"I have health problems so I'm fearful of it…basically just fear. We take proper precautions regardless of a mandate or not...we went a year with no vaccine and here we are," she said

Local nonprofit Care Providers Oklahoma said they're supportive of staff getting vaccinated but said having a mandate would lead to further workforce shortages and more facility closures.

The woman said her co-workers agree.

“Everybody is pretty much saying they will walk away before they take a vaccine.”

She said she has already began looking at other career options in another field.

“I love being a nurse. It’s what I do, it’s who I am,” she said. “I don’t want to walk away, but versus the long-term effects, I would walk away.”

Oklahoma has more than 600 long-term care facilities across the state, with nearly 300 being nursing homes.