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Vaccinations ease business, but can be difficult to secure 

Vaccinations ease business, but can be difficult to secure 

YARMOUTH, Maine – The majority of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll say they’re eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, but they’re not immune to the difficulties securing access to them. 

Nearly 80% of respondents to the poll say they are eligible for vaccines in their states. 

“We have made it mandatory in our office,” wrote one respondent. “It makes a huge difference to have my delivery technicians and supporting staff vaccinated, especially due to our delivery area, which is greater than the safer-at-home borders.” 

Nearly 70% of respondents say they themselves have been vaccinated and another nearly 80% say someone at their company has been vaccinated. 

But being eligible for the vaccine and securing access to the vaccine are not one and the same for a number of respondents. 

“I added our employee names to every list possible and I was able to get the vaccine from the local pharmacy from where I live and have a relationship with the pharmacist,” wrote Jodi Clark of Walnut Medical Services in Johnstown, Pa. “I am saddened that we had such a difficult time obtaining the vaccine. The employees who wanted the vaccine do feel a sense of relief knowing that they have protection.” 

Securing access to the vaccine has been markedly easier for respondents that are part of health systems. 

“We have an advantage because we are hospital-owned, so any employee that wants the vaccine could get it in January,” wrote one respondent. 

How many employees want the vaccine? At Walnut Medical Services, 24 of 30 employees signed up for the vaccine. Other respondents report staff acceptance rates of 90%, 66% and 50%. 

“We are at 50% of patient-direct staff vaccinated,” wrote one respondent. “Many are still hesitant and want to wait.” 

Respondents report staff that have been vaccinated feel safer and less stressed, but it’s too early to modify business practices, they say. 

“Once most of our employees receive our second shots, we’ll all breathe a little easier, but nothing will change in the short term,” wrote one respondent. “We will continue to keep the in-office staff small; continue with many working from home; continue with our lobby closed, etc. We are hoping to begin transitioning folks back to the office and opening our lobby this summer. But from a peace of mind perspective, this certainly helps immediately.” 


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