Pfizer vaccine vial and syringe

The move to vaccinate home care workers received a couple of shots in the arm on Monday. The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. The same day, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice disclosed it is partnering with the National Minority Health Association and the Flex for Checks program to increase vaccination rates and confidence in underserved communities.

“We need to be honest and recognize our shortfall in vaccinations as an industry,” Bill Dombi, president and CEO of NAHC, said in a statement. “But as an industry, we need to come together to solve it. This is even more of an urgent issue as the delta variant is quickly spreading among the unvaccinated, coupled with colder winter months approaching.”

Flex for Checks seeks to mobilize homecare workers to increase vaccination confidence and rates in underserved communities in the fight against COVID-19. The program, which was part of an $11.1 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration,  financially rewards workers who get vaccinated, along with their agencies. According to the release from NAHC, home care provider AccentCare has introduced Flex for Checks to its employees with a goal of 5,000 shots.

NAHC, in consultation with industry leaders, estimates a vaccination range of 40% to 90%, depending on the company and the discipline of the caregiver. At the recent NAHC conference in Chicago, Dombi urged members to work to improve employee vaccination rates.

Meanwhile, approval of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to increase people’s confidence in the vaccine — and spur mandates.

“There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said on Fox News Sunday.

“I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”