What's New at Laborers 1290
The Laborers Health and Safety Fund of North America provides a monthly update on issues of importance to our members. We invite you to take a few moments and checkout some of the headlines that may impact you and your family.
June 2021 Lifelines Online:We invite you to Follow Us on Facebook
Expanded Access for Vaccines – spread the news! Starting today, Kansans in Phases 3 & 4, those with health conditions and those who work in critical industries, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please help us spread the word – so that eligible populations get vaccinated as quickly as possible before the state opens vaccination to the general public. To find locations administering COVID-19 vaccinations in Kansas, please click here. At this point, there are many unfilled slots, and it is important high-risk populations are aware that the vaccines are now available.
Medical forms not needed. Please let your colleagues and friends know that they will NOT be required to bring medical records or “proof” of their health condition. Instead, they will be asked to abide by the honor system and self-attest (to see a sample self-assessment form, please click here).
Recruiting medical practices to vaccinate their patients. KDHE is encouraging eligible health care providers, including medical practices, to enroll as COVID-19 vaccinators. Participating as a COVID-19 vaccinator is a public service that you can offer to your patients, beginning with those who have pre-existing health conditions. Depending on storage capacity and the number of patients projected to be vaccinated weekly, enrolled medical practices will either receive vaccine directly from participating health systems/hospitals or from their local health department.
Enrolling as a vaccinator. There are three steps to becoming a COVID-19 vaccination provider:
· Learn the details: how to participate
· Get signed up on the KDHE website
· Get trained - the Kansas Immunization Program (KIP) will contact you to get scheduled after you enroll
For questions or issues, send an email to kdhe.COVIDEnrollment@ks.gov or call 1-877-296-0464
Hitting the One Million Mark. We have administered more than 1M doses of vaccine, with almost 25% of the population receiving at least one dose; overall trends in Kansas continue to be positive. We expect a large increase in vaccine supply with more Johnson & Johnson vaccines coming onto the market and increased production capacity of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. While timing is yet to be determined, Governor Kelly expects to expand to the fifth and final phase well ahead of President Biden's target date of May 1.
Expand efforts to work with providers on improving vaccine administration rate. We continue to improve our reported administration rate as providers with on-hand inventory have plans in place to increase the number of vaccines going into arms. Several counties are receiving assistance from the National Guard who have been deployed to provide supplemental staff at mass vaccination sites. In addition, 28K doses have been uploaded via flat-file this week bringing the total to 53K doses reported as administered via flat-files to date. The provider dashboard was posted to the KDHE website on 3/15 with providers' self-reported data on doses delivered net of transfers. Additional data will be added today (e.g., doses administered, inventory on hand) to promote transparency in vaccination efforts. This week, KDHE will do a practice run adjusting providers' weekly allocations based on current inventories. Starting next week, the updated allocation model will go live, adjusting allocations to providers that have excess inventory on-hand. A huge thanks to all the providers working diligently to help address these critical issues.
Promoting Vaccine Equity. In order to promote access to vaccines in high-risk communities, KDHE plans to bring mobile clinics to an initial 20 communities that rank high on the CDC's social vulnerability index. To address vaccine confidence, KDHE is working through logistics to engage with trusted local leaders. More news on the Vaccine Equity Stakeholder Taskforce to be announced soon. For a wealth of resources for at-risk communities, visit Immunize Kansas Coalition - Vaccine Equity Resources.
New Federal Funding Opportunities. On Wednesday of this week at 1 PM, KDADS, KDHE, and the Office of Recovery will host a webinar for Kansas medical providers on two federal programs that provide funding to support system resiliency including increasing telehealth capabilities. For more information and to sign up, please click here.
This November, more Americans than ever before turned out to cast their vote. This record participation in the midst of a global pandemic, and the robust system we have in place to count every legal vote, stands as a credit to the strength of our nation’s democracy. The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA) congratulate President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on their historic victory. Their win in this election is a victory for the entire labor movement and a victory for the future of our economy and infrastructure. It also brings hope to groups across the country who have seen their health and well-being particularly affected in recent years. So often these at risk-groups have also been our most vulnerable frontline workers.
LIUNA and the LHSFNA also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the LIUNA District Councils, Local Unions and loud, proud LIUNA members who worked tirelessly to advocate for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the days leading up to the election. LIUNA and its members have never shied away from tough work that needs doing, and have never been afraid to use their collective voice, and their vote, to make a difference. That unity and drive helped put two candidates in the White House who understand the value of unions, who care deeply about the working class and who believe in good-paying jobs, improving available health benefits and strengthening every worker’s right to a safe and healthy workplace.
This increased focus on health and safety comes at a critical time, as there’s no bigger concern in today’s workplaces than the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With cases spiking sharply across the country and our healthcare system under more pressure than even the early days of the pandemic, the next few months may prove to be particularly challenging. During this tough time, we ask that all LIUNA members and signatory contractors continue to follow federal, state and local guidelines put in place to reduce the spread of the virus. There is hope on the horizon in the form of several promising vaccines, but we must remember that building widespread immunity across the U.S. and Canada isn’t going to happen overnight. Until a proven COVID-19 vaccine has been developed, distributed and administered at a national level, we’ll need to continue taking many of the social distancing, personal hygiene and other precautionary measures that have become a normal part of our lives both on and off the job.
The holiday season is traditionally a time for hope, joy and optimism. This year, it may feel like those things are in short supply. Many of us have experienced hardships throughout the year, and made sacrifices for the health of our family, friends, fellow workers and communities. Most recently, for millions across the U.S. and Canada, that meant not spending face-to-face time with loved ones during Thanksgiving. We thank everyone who made that difficult decision. The health of our members, our families and our communities depends on all of us doing the right thing, even if that sometimes means making tough or unpopular choices. In the future, when this pandemic is behind us, we’ll look back on these temporary challenges as a necessary part of making it through, and the bonds that hold us all together will be stronger for it.
Our hearts go out to everyone who has struggled this year, especially those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. As 2020 comes to a close, we thank you again for everything you do on a daily basis to keep Laborers and their families safe and thriving, even when times are tough. We wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season.
Local 1290 Membership Meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM.