Executive Order Requires Stricter Vaccine Requirements, Raises Concerns about Healthcare Workforce

Jan. 19, 2022

Earlier today, Governor Phil Murphy issued a new Executive Order (#283) that requires all staff in health care and high-risk congregate settings (e.g., prisons, nursing homes, other long-term care centers) to be fully vaccinated within two months. It also removes the optional alternative of weekly testing that was allowed under a previous Executive Order. Click here for more details that were reported by NJBIZ.

NJAMHAA will share the Executive Order when it becomes available. NJAMHAA will also analyze the Executive Order and share additional details as they are received.

NJAMHAA members have shared concerns about the safety of individuals who will not be able to continue or begin receiving services as a result of staffing shortages, which this Executive Order is expected to exacerbate. Providers are concerned that the new vaccine mandate will make it even more difficult to retain and recruit staff.

State Senator Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th District) expressed similar concerns to the media.

"Nursing homes, group homes, and veterans' homes are already struggling to find enough skilled staff to care for New Jersey's most vulnerable residents. By eliminating the testing alternative to vaccination for workers in these settings, Governor Murphy is virtually guaranteeing that residents will face a shortage of caregivers. That will lead to unnecessary tragedies in facilities that have already sustained thousands of deaths during the pandemic," he was quoted on InsiderNJ.com.

Furthermore, the implementation dates will be difficult to meet, according to NJAMHAA members. "Health workers have until Jan. 27 to get their first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, and until Feb. 28 to get their second. Those at high-risk settings have until Feb. 28 for the first dose and March 30 for the second dose," as detailed in the NJBIZ article.

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