This has been confessed to this newspaper by directors of residences who prefer to remain anonymous. “I had a major outbreak of coronavirus and I no longer play it, for the health of the residents and for my money,” the director of a nursing home that has already imposed this requirement on those who present themselves to an offer of job. These businessmen defend that since they are private companies, requesting the vaccine to work is a mandatory requirement like the one that applies in any other job, just like having a driver’s license or speaking a language. However, these employers point out that the vast majority of people seeking work in this sector “are very aware” and were vaccinated at the time.
Weeks ago, the Vice President and Minister of Equality, Monica Oltra, for the moment ruled out requiring vaccination for nursing home workers and postponed this debate until everyone had had the opportunity to access the coronavirus vaccine. However, both the employers of the sector and experts in geriatrics and gerontology ask that this requirement be imposed immediately in order to qualify for a job caring for vulnerable people, as those responsible for some centers have already begun to do.
Entrepreneurs defend that, being private centers, the vaccine is a requirement like any other
Especially when the fifth wave of the pandemic is causing the virus to re-enter nursing homes. According to the last balance of the ImmersedIn the week of May 16-22, eight elderly people have died in residences in the Valencian Community. The week before there were six. One of the latest outbreaks has occurred in a public residence in Torrevieja and has left several dead and thirty infected. Although the origin of this outbreak is unknown, the truth is that several workers at the residence had not wanted to be vaccinated.
The cases diagnosed in the residential centers during the last week have been 45, falling to less than half of the 91 of the previous week, «which seems to indicate that the fifth wave is stabilizing, although it will be necessary to follow the evolution in the coming weeks, “they point out from the Aerte residences employer’s association. In the province of Alicante there are a total of 16 residences with active outbreaks at this time, according to data provided by the Ministry of Health.
To try to stop the infections, Health has established new restrictive measures in nursing homes. Among them, that centers located in risk areas test all their workers for antigens every 15 days and after the holidays.
In addition, employees who have not wanted to be vaccinated must undergo periodic tests that prove that they are free of coronavirus. Currently, and according to data provided by the Ministry of Equality, 4% of the workers in these centers have not wanted to be vaccinated against the disease.
The number of infected elderly people in the Community falls by half during the last week
Health also gives the option for these workers to be transferred in case they are in direct contact with the elderly. An unviable measure, in the opinion of the employers of the sector, due to the shortage of personnel that is currently available to work in this sector.
Although vaccination is not mandatory in our country, when carrying out a job there is numerous legislation that establishes the need for the person, from the point of view of health and prevention, to protect themselves and help protect their environment .
Lucia Diaz, a social graduate and employee of the Ferrer Pallás law firm, gave as an example days ago the General Public Health Law 33/2011 “which in its second chapter says that citizens must facilitate actions in public health matters.”
The Labor Risk Prevention Law also includes the obligation of workers “when it comes to ensuring their own safety and health at work and for the rest of the people in their charge.” Díaz also gave as an example the state framework collective agreement for residences and home help. “In its sanctioning regime it establishes as a serious and very serious offense the abandonment of health measures at work.” The penalty in these cases can range from 4 to 90 days of salary or dismissal.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.