Biden administration to require nursing home staff get COVID-19 vaccine

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Gilly Safdeye is served part of her meal at RiverWalk, an independent senior housing facility, in New York, Thursday, April 1, 2021. Since the start of the pandemic, residents had been dining in their rooms. Only recently have they began to use the dining hall again, although they still maintain social distance with two separate dinner seatings and fewer people per table. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will require that nursing home staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Biden will announce the move Wednesday afternoon in a White House address. A senior administration official confirmed the announcement on the condition of anonymity to preview the news before Biden’s remarks.

The administration continues to look for ways to use mandates to encourage vaccine holdouts to get shots. The new mandate, in the form of a regulation to be issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, could take effect as soon as next month.

Hundreds of thousands of nursing home workers are not vaccinated, according to federal data. That’s despite those facilities bearing the brunt of the early COVID-19 outbreak and their workers being among the first in the country eligible for shots.

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