Where do Travel Nurses Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19?
While the vaccination rollout for COVID-19 has been swift, in many ways, it’s also disorganized. Lack of federal guidance has left states and medical organizations scrambling to inoculate as many of their frontline workers as possible, as quickly as possible. For travel nurses shifting between assignments, lack of guidance has left a lot of questions. On top of it, many nurses report being denied inoculation by their current facility. It all begs the question: “Where do travel nurses get vaccinated against COVID-19?”
The trouble with vaccination plans
A few challenges that have complicated the COVID-19 vaccination plan for people across the country are impacting frontline healthcare workers as well — a group that’s supposed to be priority number one.
One of these challenges is the lack of federal guidance in the vaccine rollout plan. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published its recommended vaccination order, states have the freedom to adjust their plans according to local needs. This has led to imbalanced vaccination groups from state to state.
Further, vaccinations are still not widely available — even to hospitals. Many healthcare facilities have cooperated with frontline medical personnel needs and have vaccinated travel nurses alongside their full-time staff. However, others have struggled with the difficult decision of who to vaccinate with a limited number of vaccines. Logistical challenges have played a role as well.
Some facilities have been forced to make the tough choice to vaccinate their staff first and put travel nurses who are new or soon to leave their facilities second, despite the overarching need for immunization.
Travel nurses face additional hurdles
These two challenges have made COVID-19 vaccination difficult. However, travel nurses also are up against a few unique challenges on the path to vaccination.
One such challenge is how to navigate vaccination when changing assignments. If you get the first dose at one facility but change assignments before your second dose, will you be able to access a vaccine at your new facility? Does getting vaccinated in one place for the first dose and another place for the second dose matter?
Another challenge is finding a place to get vaccinated. Some travel nurses have been able to secure vaccinations through their local health departments if a vaccine was unavailable through their hospital. However, the processes differ from one city to next. Finding the right number to call or form to submit can be frustrating.
Vaccination clarity is coming
Although the COVID-19 vaccination challenges for travel nurses can be frustrating and confusing, there is hope moving forward. President Biden’s administration is working on a more comprehensive approach to distribution. As the vaccine rollout continues, more guidelines will come regarding where travel nurses fit into the larger picture and how they can be safely vaccinated as they travel.
Not only that, more vaccines are on the way. As new vaccine manufacturers get closer to receiving emergency use authorization in the U.S., and approved vaccines continue to be sent, travel nurses will have easier access to a greater supply. As we move ahead, getting vaccinated is expected to become much easier and faster for travel nurses and the general public.