(WKRG) — The Biden administration will require that nursing home staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

President Joe Biden announced the move Wednesday afternoon in a White House address as the administration continues to look for ways to use mandates to encourage vaccine holdouts to get shots. The new mandate, in the form of a regulation to be issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, could take effect as soon as next month. Hundreds of thousands of nursing home workers are not vaccinated, according to federal data.

Alabama Nursing Home Association President & CEO Brandon Farmer issued the following statement on the announcement that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require nursing home staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

“Our association is working to learn more about President Biden’s plan to require nursing home employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. We expect the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will issue details soon. Once we have those details, we will help our members understand and implement the requirement.
“The Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA) has supported COVID-19 vaccinations for nursing home staff and residents from the beginning. We conducted a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination education campaign for staff and residents and are actively working to increase vaccinations among residents and staff. Alabama is ahead of its neighboring states and several other states in the percentage of nursing home residents and staff who are vaccinated. The percentages have increased each week the federal government has released new data and we are moving in the right direction.
“The ANHA and its member nursing homes are working to fully defeat COVID-19 and continue to follow guidance and protocols from the state and federal governments.”

Alabama Nursing Home Association President & CEO Brandon Farmer

The Associated Press contributed to this article.