COVID vaccine in hands of caregiver

Five Star Senior Living is among the latest on a growing list of long-term care providers requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The company on Tuesday announced a Sept. 21 deadline for all of its workers.

Five Star’s decision is notable because of the Newton, MA-based company’s size. The company is the fourth-largest senior living operator in the United States, according to lists compiled in 2020 by the American Seniors Housing Association and Argentum.

“Requiring our team members to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus will help keep our senior population and our team members protected and healthy,” said Five Star Chief Medical Officer Priti Jindal, M.D.

All Five Star communities have re-opened to visitors and new residents, which the company attributes to a successful education campaign and rollout of a COVID vaccination program.

“The health and well-being of our residents, clients and team members is our highest priority. Requiring team members who work in or visit our communities or Ageility clinics as part of their responsibilities to be vaccinated is consistent with this priority and our commitment to industry well-being best practices,” Five Star President and CEO Katie Porter stated in a press release. “Since the onset of the pandemic, our teams across the country have gone to great lengths to keep our residents and clients safe. We deeply appreciate their efforts and are committed to maintaining a safe work environment for them and a well-rounded, fully active and open experience for our residents, clients and families.”

To date, these and possibly other providers are requiring COVID vaccines of employees: ALG Senior, American House Senior Living Communities, The Arbor Co., Atria Senior Living, Civitas Senior Living, Continuing Healthcare Solutions, Enlivant, Juniper Communities, Integral Senior Living, Masonicare, Retirement Center Management, Silverado and Sunrise Senior Living.