As of July 1, 2021, 77% of staff at state-operated health care facilities are fully vaccinated according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities, a state-operated healthcare system comprised of 14 facilities with more than 10,000 employees. In addition, 93% of residents in the state’s six congregate living facilities are fully vaccinated.
"Our facilities are leaders in caring for people with complex needs, and our staff have heroically protected the people they serve and each other from day one of this pandemic," said Chief Deputy Secretary for Health Kody Kinsley. "I am proud of our facilities for making vaccination a priority and our team for doing all that they can to protect themselves and those they care for."
DSOHF set the goal of having 75% of facility staff vaccinated earlier this year, consistent with a target established by leading national health care and long-term care associations. Nationally, staff vaccination rates vary across health care settings. Among long-term care facilities, the national average is below 56%.
Throughout the pandemic, DSOHF has prioritized safeguarding the health and wellness of facility staff and those they care for by taking preventive steps such as implementing rigorous infection control procedures and providing enhanced personal protective equipment. Making safe and effective vaccines available at each facility since December of 2020 is a continuation of that commitment.
Consistent with what North Carolina is seeing more broadly, the increase in vaccination rates among staff in DSOHF facilities is strongly correlated with decreasing cases of COVID-19.
"By choosing to get vaccinated, our staff are delivering on our mission and protecting each other," said State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., MPH. "With new and more contagious variants emerging, achieving this level of vaccination among both staff and patients is especially important in stopping the spread of the virus not only in these facilities, but also among their families and loved ones and in their communities across the state."
The 14 facilities comprising DSOHF consist of state psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers, and two types of congregate living facilities — developmental centers for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and neuro-medical treatment centers for older adults requiring specialized nursing care.
Vaccination in these facilities is voluntary. DSOHF continues to work with staff and residents to help those who want a vaccine to get one and to provide information for those wanting more information about the vaccines. More information about DSOHF and each facility can be found here.