February 4, 2021 — By Wendy Sachs
The rollout of the COVID 19 vaccination gives us hope for light at the end of the tunnel. However, there is much to learn about and consider regarding nannies, families and the vaccine.
Here is some general info you will need to know.
- CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) has some great information about the vaccine. You can find it here.
- Currently only 2 versions of the vaccine are available in the United States and both require 2 doses of the vaccine. (Note that by publication there may be more. Dr Fauci said to expect to see another in the next few weeks!)
- There is information here about how the vaccines work. Both the Moderna and Pfizer versions of the vaccine we are using here PA and NYC are mRNA vaccines. They will not affect your DNA.
- Each and every person must decide if they will get vaccinated. Women who are pregnant/lactating or trying to get pregnant, children under 16, those with vaccine allergies or those with underlying medical conditions should consult with a doctor before signing up for the vaccine.
Nannies/Families and the Vaccination
- The CDC in conjunction with an advisory panel (the ACIP) has set forth guidelines for who will get the vaccine first. In general, the committee advises that those who are at greater risk due to exposure or health risk factors are higher up on the list. However, each county public health department determines their own procedures. This means that while a nanny may be considered higher up on the list in New Jersey, in Montgomery County, PA the nanny may be lower on the list. Each county decides based on local factors.
- Nannies are classified by the Department of Labor as Childcare Workers. However, we have seen many counties be more specific by defining childcare workers as those who work in a licensed center. While childcare workers and teachers are often in the 1b category for getting the vaccination, you should check with your county public health department for more specific information.
- You CAN require your nanny to get the vaccination as a condition of employment. There are things to consider here. There are issues of privacy, personal feelings, sensitive medical issues to consider. GTM Payroll Services has a nice article outlying the issues.
Most of all it is of importance to note that while the vaccination is a bright sign of a return to normal, it is not happening soon. Scientists determine that 94% of the population will need to be immune before we interrupt the chain of transmission. This means that you should continue to observe social distancing, mask wearing and the like for some time to come even if you are vaccinated.