ODESSA, Texas — A new announcement from the president is making waves in West Texas.
Nursing home employees must get a vaccine or there will be no federal funding in Medicare and Medicaid for them.
Manor Park's CEO and the spokesperson for Focused Care Odessa both say they saw this coming and they're not surprised.
Now, every nursing home in Midland and Odessa is scrambling to meet and decide their next steps.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, these new requirements surrounding staff vaccinations will be released in September.
They say they'll continue to keep their staff informed but they still need more guidance.
Several of these nursing homes say they've promoted vaccine education, resources and even transportation over the course of the pandemic.
Leila Jones, the communication spokesperson for Deerings, Buena Vida and Sienna Nursing and Rehab released this statement:
"We are grateful for the hard work and dedication that our staff has shown throughout this pandemic. We continue to motivate our community members, as well as our employees, who have not yet elected to become vaccinated. We agree with the scientists and the data that show the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and proven to save lives."
Rebecca Reid, communications specialist for Focused Care Midland sent this statement:
"The Biden Administration's announcement requiring vaccinations against COVID-19 for all nursing home staff while well intentioned, will very possibly have a negative impact on the skilled nursing sector as a whole. Singling out nursing home staff in the entire health care system as a method to protect seniors from contracting the virus could exacerbate an already dire workforce shortage within our profession. Withholding funding as a punitive measure on compliance is not conducive to our effort to increase vaccination rates among our staff."
Focused Care says they're already underfunded and a further assault on these resources is "far from helpful."