Philadelphia senior citizens and residents of other age cohorts will be happy to learn the city has achieved a comparably high vaccination rate for healthcare industry workers. Government officials at the federal level highlight Philadelphia’s vaccine mandate for its elevated vaccination rate. The high rate of vaccination among the city’s medical industry personnel is especially important now that the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus is rearing its ugly head.
About Philadelphia’s Vaccination Mandate
The city of Philadelphia issued a coronavirus vaccine mandate as the summer drew to a close. The mandate has lead to nearly every single hospital employee in the greater Philadelphia area being fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Furthermore, the city’s health department reports more than 95% of the city’s nursing home employees are fully vaccinated against the virus. This statistic is especially striking when juxtaposed with the comparably low 75% vaccination rate of nursing home employees throughout the rest of the country.
However, it must be noted the definition of “fully vaccinated” has the potential to change as time progresses. It is quite possible only those who receive a booster shot will be considered fully vaccinated by the time winter comes to an end. At the moment, more than 75% of all Philadelphia residents are fully vaccinated, meaning they have at least two vaccine shots. Though this percentage is lower than that of those who work in local hospitals and nursing homes, it is still an encouraging sign.
Why Philadelphia’s Vaccine Mandate is so Important
Pennsylvania has one of the nation’s highest rates of hospitalization stemming from coronavirus infections. The state’s intensive-care units are struggling to provide care for individuals who require intubation and other forms of assistance. Sadly, nearly 400 individuals were hospitalized in early December in Philadelphia alone. Phila.com’s city data shows the city’s hospitalization trend is moving in the wrong direction as a mere 200 were hospitalized within the city’s limits prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Philadelphia’s high vaccination rate is the elevated employee retention rate. The vast majority of local Philadelphia hospitals and nursing homes retained nearly the entirety of their staff despite the vaccine mandate. The Pennsylvania Health Care Association reports that of the city’s 47 nursing homes, an average of seven individuals departed their posts as a result of the vaccine mandate.
It is clear that Philadelphians are willing to put their self-interest and political differences aside for the greater good. However, it is slightly disturbing to learn that merely 40% of the hospitals in the United States have vaccine requirements. This low nationwide percentage is a large part of the reason why transmission rates are climbing with no signs of slowing down as the Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc throughout Philadelphia and beyond.
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