Two Dublin nursing homes have organised raffles and cash prizes in a bid to encourage staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
HSE CEO Paul Reid today said it’s ‘inexcusable‘ for staff to refuse the vaccine – saying that while it’s a small number of people, it is an issue.
The HSE has said legislation allows for staff to be redeployed if their refusal to get a vaccine puts other residents or staff at risk.
However, officials have indicated they’re not likely to make vaccination mandatory.
Alison Woods director at Ailsbury and Ashbury private nursing homes said “We had a good uptake, but in my view it could have been better. We had around 170 employees – in total 36 have opted not to get the vaccine. There is opportunity for them to change their mind in the coming weeks.
“There’s fear from some of them, anyway – fear in relation to the long-term effects – and some would be hoping to have children in the next year.
“Some of them I would say are valid from that perspective… but others have had their children, and are frontline nurses. I genuinely believe it should be mandatory.”
Ms Woods believes the vaccine should be mandatory, as from their perspective they’ve done everything they can to entice staff to get it.
She said: “We’ve had raffles… offered €1,000 in cash prizes. There’s been a huge PR campaign.
“Whether that was the reason they took the vaccine or not… we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to encourage people, as much as possible, to take it.
“Over the last year, anyone’s who is in the nursing home business… the cost mentally to families, residents, staff… we can’t keep going like this.
“People will be completely burned out. We need to do everything we can to keep COVID out going forward.”