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Resident Douglass Tozzini gets his mask adjusted by caregiver Joseph Salazar at Gordon Manor assisted-care facility in Redwood City, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

It's becoming more urgent to vaccinate the staff that care for vulnerable nursing home patients. But the industry, which has been plagued with workforce issues, faces a major challenge when it comes to mandating shots, the New York Times reports.

By the numbers: Nursing homes had seen major drops in infections after becoming one of the major hotspots for cases and deaths earlier on in the pandemic. But those numbers have reversed in recent weeks, CDC data shows.

What they're saying: "It's terribly frustrating," Mark Parkinson, CEO of the American Health Care Association, told the Times about the hesitancy of people to get vaccinated, including in the nursing home industry. "If everybody would get vaccinated this pandemic would end."

The big picture: Nursing homes are just one of the industries that may face workforce challenges if they try to push vaccine mandates. Major companies, such as Amazon, are also grappling with concerns about retaining workers in a tight labor market amid vaccine mandates, Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2021 - Health

COVID cases, deaths at meat plants were far higher than previously thought

Tyson Foods in Portland, Maine, in 2020. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Cases and deaths from COVID-19 among workers at the five largest U.S. meatpacking companies were nearly three times higher than previously thought, according to a memo from the House panel probing the response to the pandemic.

Driving the news: At least 59,000 workers contracted COVID-19 and 269 workers died at Tyson Foods, JBS USA, Cargill, National Beef and Smithfield Foods — which together make up more than 80% of the beef market and 60% of the pork market in the U.S. — according to counts through January of this year.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Fauci: "I would vaccinate them in a second" — CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot — FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds.
  2. Health: COVID cases fall by 20% — Public health messaging lessons for the next pandemic — Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization, study finds — COVID cases, deaths at meat plants were far higher than previously thought.
  3. Politics: NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate — Judge rejects Southwest pilots' challenge to vaccine mandate — Louisiana lifts mask mandate except for some schools.
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Judge rejects Southwest pilots' challenge to vaccine mandate

A Southwest Airlines plane leaves the gate at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Oct. 21. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

A judge ruled that Southwest Airlines can mandate its 9,000 pilots to be vaccinated against COVID-19, declining a union request for a restraining order on the policy, per AP.

Details: U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn said in her ruling against the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association on Tuesday that the airline was meeting its goal on air transportation safety and "providing 'safe and reasonable working conditions' for pilots, by preventing the spread of disease" with the requirement, the Dallas Morning News noted.

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