The Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care Launches ‘Be Wise, Immunize’ Website

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Caregiver resource designed to expand awareness of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine among America’s home care workforce

“It is essential that home care aides receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves, their families, and their clients. The Be Wise, Immunize website outlines the facts about the vaccine and its benefits,” said PMHC Chairman David J. Totaro.

The Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care (PMHC) launched ‘Be Wise, Immunize’ [bewiseimmunize.com], a public awareness website and campaign to provide information about the COVID-19 vaccine to over three million frontline home care workers providing home and community-based services to millions of Americans.

“PMHC supports the heroic efforts of the home care workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has presented the world with unprecedented challenges that affect every element of life,” said David J. Totaro, PMHC Chairman. “It is essential that home care aides receive the vaccine to protect themselves, their families, and their clients. The ‘Be Wise, Immunize’ website outlines the facts about the vaccine and its benefits.”

The home care workforce is working to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection to seniors and people with disabilities by providing essential health sustaining services safely in their homes throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. When compared to other health care workers, home care aides’ visits are more frequent, longer in duration, and very intimate by nature of the assistance being delivered. The personal care services being delivered create considerable risk of exposure to the coronavirus for the home care aide and the at-risk individuals they serve.

Home care workers are predominately female (87%), people of color (62%), immigrants (30%), and over the age of 55 (30%).

“Given the intimate nature of the services being provided by home care aides and demographics of the home care labor force – mostly older females of color - this workforce is disproportionally exposed to, and affected by, COVID-19,” said Darby Anderson, PMHC Vice-Chairman. “The Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care is committed to providing information about the COVID-19 vaccine to home care aides with the goal of increasing vaccine uptake by home care workforce.”

Home care workers providing long term services and supports (LTSS) were prioritized by CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1a of the vaccine program.

The ‘Be Wise, Immunize’ website [bewiseimmunize.com] will be continually updated over the next few weeks, including translation for additional language options.

Be Wise, Immunize does not endorse or promote any specific COVID-19 vaccination or related products. The website aims to serve as a resource on COVID-19 vaccine information generally. Be Wise, Immunize recommends that individuals talk to their doctor about the safety, effectiveness, benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccine. The information contained on the website is for general information purposes only.

PMHC is comprised of organizations representing home care agencies, state home care associations, managed care organizations and other payers, and business affiliates who have come together to improve the quality and integrity of Medicaid funded home and community-based services (HCBS).

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Stacey Smith
Partnership for Medicaid Home-Based Care
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