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Kentucky State Ombudsman, Sherry Culp, Interviewed on the Vaccine Mandate for Nursing Home Staff

August 19, 2021

Kentucky State Ombudsman, Sherry Culp, was interviewed regarding the federal vaccine mandate for nursing home staff. Only 50% of Kentucky nursing home employees are vaccinated, according to the most recent federal data, ranking it seventh from last among the states. Sherry said she hears from nursing home employees who fear the vaccine because they do not understand it. “They’re scared of what’s in it,” Culp said. “They believe it’s something completely new. They don’t understand that parts of it were being worked on by scientists for a long period of time even before the pandemic, and they don’t want to put something in their body that’s new and they can’t remove if they discover something bad later.”

Sherry said that nursing homes can boost their numbers by organizing vaccination education programs for their staff as well as providing paid time off to get the shot and to recover from any flu-like symptoms they might experience as a result of inoculation. “They need to be supported,” she said. “Some of these people at first said, ‘Forget it, I’m not getting the shot.’ But then they saw their director of nursing get it, and when she didn’t suffer any adverse reactions and maybe it even seemed to help protect her, they started to have second thoughts.”

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