Boots & Sabers

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0714, 21 Jan 21

Vaccine Requirements

We’re going to see a lot of this.

JANESVILLE, Wis. – A requirement forcing staff to choose between the COVID-19 vaccination and their job has forced nearly a dozen employees out of Rock Haven nursing home, according to staff member Michelle Lynch.


The nursing home, run by Rock County, is one of the only in South-Central Wisconsin mandating employees to get the shot or lose their jobs.


“If it would have been voluntarily at first, I think a lot of people would have received the vaccine,” Lynch said. “I think because it’s told it’s mandatory, a lot of people are fighting back. They don’t want to be told they have to take a vaccine that’s not FDA approved.”

First off, I do think it is the business’ prerogative to require this if the workers are in a shared space like this. It is also the employee’s prerogative to refuse and quit. Both have to act in the best interests of themselves.

I know plenty of people who are healthy, young adults who have decided to wait a while. While the vaccine is welcome, it has also not been tested long term. It is perfectly rational for a healthy 28-year-old person to make the personal risk calculation that the risk of immediate or future side effects of the vaccine is greater than their minute risk of severe harm from the virus.

Human bodies and human circumstances are infinitely complex. Healthcare is personal.


0714, 21 January 2021


  1. Tuerqas

    If it is required/offered to all of the nursing home residents, I don’t really see why it has to be mandatory for the employees.
    I agree that the business has the right to mandate, but unless they are trying to cut costs by getting rid of employees, I think they are being stupid. The Nursing home care workers that I know personally have been practicing heavy quarantining away from work for over 9 months now, because they did not want outbreaks in the homes. Now that that concern has been addressed, they should be allowed the same protocols as anyone else including declining the vaccine. My wife and I used to see our best friend 1-2 times a week. Since the Covid scare we have seen her twice.

  2. Mark Hoefert

    Mar, the article the other day seems to indicate that those over 65 are eligible for the vaccine, with several qualifiers:

    The department also cautioned that the speed of vaccinations depends on how much vaccine the state receives from the federal government. Wisconsin receives about 70,000 doses of first-dose vaccine each week; at that pace, it could take months to vaccinate the new group.

    People over 65 may get vaccinated sooner if their provider has already inoculated those in the previously eligible population, the health department said.

    I received a notification on MyChart that because I am over 65, I am part of the eligible group. Other than that, it says to watch for further information at a later date, when vaccines become available.

    I can afford to continue to shelter in place & do the mask & social distancing things. I would rather those in nursing homes, and front-line essential workers (including teachers & daycare workers) get vaccinated first.

    In the meantime, the trend line for new cases in WI has collapsed. On 1/20 the rolling 7-day daily average of new cases was 1807. On 11/17 it had peaked at 7090. Four months ago (9/22) the average was 1838.

    Perhaps WI has already reached herd immunity.

  3. Mark Hoefert

    Mar, I meant for this comment to be in the other post about vaccine phases.

  4. Mar

    I agree with Tueqas, yes employers can mandate but it is quite stupid to do so in a medical setting.
    First, most of these employers can go work somewhere else as health care workers are in short supply.
    Then, these workers have been practicing infection control for the past 9 months and are probably quite good at it by now.
    And are they going to require who have already had the virus receive it? If so, there has been little, if any testing, on people who got the virus and then got vaccinated.

  5. dad29

    Healthcare is personal.

    That’s SO 20th Century, comrade.

  6. Tuerqas

    “Healthcare is personal.

    That’s SO 20th Century, comrade.”


  7. MjM

    “Both have to act in the best interests of themselves.”….

    …. and not the lawyers.

    Given that, nation-wide, about 48% of deaths marked as CCPVirus come from LTC facilities (which doesn’t include the hidden ones that were sent out to hospitals to die), Owen is correct: this will expand like lightning.

    Places of practiced medicine first. But soon to a bizness near you. And yours.

    Mar, you are correct about employees ability to move, but that won’t last long.

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