MPR News: As long-term care staff vaccines lag, a federal mandate could force change

Elder Voice's Kris Sundberg speaks on the need for vaccinations

The delta variant of COVID-19 raised the urgency to vaccinate, especially among those who work with older people. The Biden administration took the urgency a step further, but the reaction in Minnesota is mixed.


Last week, President Joe Biden took the unusual step of mandating vaccinations in a particular industry, saying that employees of nursing homes whose residents are on Medicare or Medicaid, will need to get vaccinated.


Kristine Sundberg, Executive Director of Elder Voice Family Advocates, called the news “long overdue, but we need much more than that."


The mandate, with details and effective date still to come, appears focused on nursing homes, not other types of care homes. Sundberg works on behalf of families and residents. She says assisted living needs to be included in that mandate.


"If you're caring for people who are vulnerable, who are ill, you need to make sure that you are as safe as possible. And vaccination is clearly that way," Sundberg said. Read more