Update on Northampton County cash incentive to nursing home employees to get vaccinated

Written by on December 28, 2020

Update on Northampton County cash incentive to nursing home employees to get vaccinated

By Brad Klein

December 28, 2020

Photo |Noah Berger / AP Photo

Northampton County will pay employees at the Gracedale nursing home $750 each to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The process is expected to begin shortly.

There’s wide agreement that nursing home residents and employees are at great risk for catching and transmitting the Coronavirus. And Northampton County will use up to $490,000 in Federal CARES money to help persuade workers at Gracedale to get vaccinated.

County Executive Lamont McClure explained the program on the PBS39 show: Community Update on the Coronavirus.

“We have been given a tentative date of January 6th for vaccinations to start in Gracedale. And that is no small thing. Gracedale is the largest nursing home under one roof in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said McClure.

McClure says that 85% of the deaths in Northampton County from COVID-19 at one point were residents of long-term care facilities.

“Some of the people who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19 in long-term care facilities like Gracedale are people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. And …those folks can’t protect themselves. So we have to protect them. And part of the way we do that, as we get staff vaccinated.”

He says the County’s attorneys say that staff cannot be required to take the shots. And he understands that there is reluctance among some of the staff to getting the vaccine.

The county has partnered with CVS to administer the shots. 

Vaccinations are expected to begin on January 6th.

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