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Despite pleas and even threats, IDOC worker vax rate remains about the same

Friday, Oct 22, 2021

* I-Team

New data obtained by the ABC7 I-Team shows how far behind Illinois is in meeting its COVID vaccine reporting mandate for thousands of state government employees.

Prisons, juvenile facilities and veterans homes are among the residential facilities operated by Illinois government that are in a state of uncertainty based on employee vaccination records submitted so far. […]

Across all Illinois Department of Corrections facilities, less than half of staffers are confirmed as fully vaccinated. That’s 6,300 hundred employees reporting out of a little more than 13,000.

The department’s Peoria Adult Transition Center checking in with the lowest vaccine confirmation: just 13%. In Chicago, Crossroad’s Adult Transition Center is at 94%.

They didn’t post or link to the full list, so I asked for it.

* IDOC as of October 4…

For context, IDOC’s vax rate was 44 percent in late July.

Apparently, nothing is working so far.

* Click the IDVA pic if you have trouble seeing the numbers…

IDVA’s vax rate was 64 percent in July, so that’s a significant improvement.

* Meanwhile

As a Chicago police officer, Jack DeHeer was shot in the head, seriously injured in a car chase, and revived from a near-fatal heart attack he suffered during a foot pursuit. After surviving all that over the course of 20 years, he cannot believe so many of the city’s cops are more afraid of a needle than a bullet.

“Chicago police, go get fully vaccined, stop listening to all these frickin’ mopes,” says DeHeer, who is now retired and disabled. “Not getting fully vaccinated is the leading cause of death for police officers.”

The mopes in question include all those who spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccines.

“Can any Chicago police use their own mind, or do they all follow terrible information?” DeHeer asked during an interview with The Daily Beast. “Quicker you get fully vaccinated, the better.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

49 Comments
  1. - H-W - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    I am provaccination, but one question we need to start asking is whether or not these employees have contracted COVID, along with whether or not they have had a vaccination. It is conceivable some have developed antibodies at this point.

    I am not suggesting they should not be expected to vaccinate, since “boosters” are widely acknowledged as helpful to minimizing likelihood of developing subsequent, serious infections, and length of infectiousness if so. But from a data standpoint, I think ignoring the possibility of having developed natural immunity is problematic from a reporting standpoint.


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    ===whether or not these employees have contracted COVID===


  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    H.W.

    The already infected but unvaccinated are still 2.4 times as likely than the vaccinated to become infected and spread covid.

    The natural immunity trope is just more antivax concern trolling.


  4. - Mrsfloyddog - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    When I got hired at the state many years ago, New Employee Orientation was an in-person meeting. At the end of training, the trainer said to the class “you’ve got a good job; don’t screw it up,” and I still remember that at various decision points. It’s a shame these current workers weren’t given the same advice.


  5. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    =H-W=

    CDC has answers…

    “Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:

    “Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.

    “Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

    “Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than 2 times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.”

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html


  6. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    “Not getting fully vaccinated is the leading cause of death for police officers.”

    This needs to be repeated ad infinitum. If you don’t get the shots, you’re far more likely to die from a germ than from anything else encountered on the job.


  7. - AC - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    I often hear people who are unvaccinated described as selfish, but that never made much sense to me, there is no personal benefit to putting one’s own health at risk. I couldn’t imagine working in a congregate care setting where social distancing is often not possible, without taking every possible precaution, including vaccination. In addition to putting other people at risk it seems recklessly self destructive.


  8. - Sir Reel - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    Is it possible to do what one of the airlines did, increase their medical costs (start charging/raising premiums, increase co-pays, increase deductibles, etc)?

    I know that’s part of the contract, but it’s clear the unvaccinated are increasing health care for all, including taxpayers.

    The incentives aren’t working, the threats aren’t working, maybe the pocketbook will.


  9. - H-W - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    Again, I am not saying I oppose requiring vaccination of those who have become infected. One of my sons was infected, and told he should get a vaccination no sooner than two months afterward. I trust the science, and advocate for vaccinations.

    I am simply suggesting data on how many people have been infected, and are not vaccinating is an important data point. Such information could be helpful in determining why some are not vaccinating, and help with better outreach plans to those who think they are thereby immune.


  10. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:08 pm:

    I agree that it would make sense to raise health insurance rates on those that are unvaccinated. After all they are more likely to require hospitalization than a vaccinated individual.


  11. - Leslie K - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:08 pm:

    Throughout that piece ABC7 is conflating reporting rate, vaccine confirmation rate, and vaccination rate. These obviously overlap, and certain correlations could be expected (e.g. non-reporters are probably also not vaccinated), but ABC7’s sloppiness is making it difficult to know exactly what the status is. Although any way you slice it, it isn’t looking good at IDOC.


  12. - H-W - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    @ Sir Reel - I think if insurance companies were to implement such policies, it would go a very long way toward changing union recalcitrance, since the insurance companies have no explicit contracts with the unions.


  13. - cityrat - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    Fire Them All. No one in prison should have to die because an IDOC employee acted selfishly. Good luck finding a similar high paying job with benefits in those small prison towns. The prisons are only there out of politics anyway. Move the prisons closer to Chicago where plenty of people are happy to be vaxxed for a good job. It’s a hardship on families to visit loved ones way downstate and the lack of connection leads to increased rates of recidivism.


  14. - The Dude - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    What’s the solution?

    They aren’t budging and if you think outright terminating them is the answer then you must consider the devasting effects that would have on downstate that would go far beyond covid.

    JB needs to use a carrot not a stick. Put 10 grand bonus for a the shot and I bet that number goes to 90% in 1 week. Then we only have to worry about 10% not 64%.


  15. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    Bring on Fumigation 2.0 (even though Quinn failed to do 1.0 adequately). No vaccine, no job, and no pension. If AFSCME doesn’t like it, that’s plain tough.

    Maybe some of the vax resisters might be political appointees too.


  16. - ArchPundit - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    —and told he should get a vaccination no sooner than two months afterward. I trust the science, and advocate for vaccinations.

    In a case like that it would be a temporary medical exemption. I understand your main point and think that makes sense to collect the data on recovered, but unvaxxed.


  17. - Steve Rogers - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    @the dude: So where’s my $10K bonus for being a good citizen and getting vaccinated when I was supposed to? Or should mine be $20K?


  18. - Rusty Shackleford - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    Also, Indiana is currently recruiting Chicago police who don’t want to be vaccinated. Maybe they’ll take our IDOC workers as well.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    It’s mind boggling that any union that sees members either possibly spreading a pandemic… unions were created to stop the unhealthy workplaces.


  20. - Walker - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:20 pm:

    How many are refusing to report being vaccinated as a form of protest?


  21. - Mason born - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    As for raising their healthcare costs that would require AFSCME to agree right? They seem to be the main thing keeping the sticks from having any effect. If the Governor is going to buck the Union then might as well go for the full enchilada. Jab or be fired.


  22. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:28 pm:

    == since the insurance companies have no explicit contracts with the unions.==

    Yeah, that’s false. After State/Federal government programs (Employees, Medicare and Medicaid), union trusts are insurance companies’ biggest clients. But you’re right if you’re implying they don’t contract with AFSCME for state employees, for instance.

    Whether premiums will be higher for folks within a certain employer group, that will be up to the employer. They’ll be given a choice - higher premiums for the unvaccinated or higher premiums for everyone, including the employer share


  23. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    == consider the devasting effects that would have on downstate ==

    Yes, they should consider that consequence when making the choice to refuse getting vaccinated. That’s where they live, so it’s going to impact them where they live.

    This is their choice, and it will be their consequence. Everyone is is exhausted from carrying their water for them for the past year and a half. We’re done coddling them from the consequences of their choices now.


  24. - OneMan - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    == I often hear people who are unvaccinated described as selfish, but that never made much sense to me, there is no personal benefit to putting one’s own health at risk ==

    Part of the many reasons I am vaccinated (besides it being a much easier way of becoming lower risk than losing a significant amount of weight) is that if my risk of getting it lower the chances of me spreading it to:

    My wife who provides care to the elderly after major surgery giving it to her patients.
    The kids who play football in the games I officiate.
    The other folks on my train ride since I am back in the office most of the week.
    Other folks in general.

    I am vaccinated not just to protect me (which would be enough) but to protect others including those I don’t know. It’s the same reason I cover my mouth when I sneeze.


  25. - Bob Meter - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    At this point it’s time to move on with life. The unvaxed are really just hurting themselves. Go get your third shot and you’ll be fine.


  26. - Stix Hix - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==Indiana is currently recruiting Chicago police who don’t want to be vaccinated.==

    A classic case of raising the average in both states.


  27. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:37 pm:

    =I understand your main point and think that makes sense to collect the data on recovered, but unvaxxed.=

    A task that would be highly difficult to accomplish. I’ve encountered any number of people who are “pretty sure” they had Covid at one point or another but were never tested. And who and how is going to be given the burden of capturing and aggregating this information? I think the CDC is a bit busy at the moment.

    Maybe we just trust the CDC instead of trying to think of ways that we might be smarter than the docs and scientists who do this for a living?


  28. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    =Also, Indiana is currently recruiting Chicago police who don’t want to be vaccinated.=

    Would serve to mitigate some of the City’s pension problems. But my sense is that these cops aren’t stupid, just loud. In fact I read an article yesterday that said that the Chicago PD may be down to no more than 20 cops that haven’t provided their vaccination status at this point.


  29. - Lurker - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    The government needs to shut up about private businesses vaccinating employees. The State is not even making it a requirement for 90% and then for the 10% they are mandating, they are not doing well.


  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===The unvaxed are really just hurting themselves===

    Totally false.


  31. - James the Intolerant - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:48 pm:

    Metra still does not have a vax policy. Not sure how since we are >100 employees and we get federal dollars. We had a Q&A about vax myths and Dr Murphy (Morthwestern) has a slide stating “the unvaccinated are driving the pandemic”


  32. - H-W - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    =higher premiums for the unvaccinated or higher premiums for everyone, including the employer share=

    I didn’t think about this possibility. Here (we are a unionized faculty), that would almost certainly require the membership to either accept higher premiums for all (unlikely), or require the union to allow the administration to fire those who refuse (through a new Memorandum of Agreement).

    In some places, that might be perceived as union busting, although here (86+ % vaccination among all employees), it would probably lead to an MOA that causes workers to vaccinate or not be protected by the union.


  33. - ArchPundit - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    ===They aren’t budging and if you think outright terminating them is the answer then you must consider the devasting effects that would have on downstate that would go far beyond covid.

    The point is that in every case of an absolute mandate the level of noncompliance is negligible. Give them a mandate and the vast majority will comply

    =====The unvaxed are really just hurting themselves===

    There’s a reason it’s called public health. It isn’t just about the individual’s health, but the community as a whole. While there are individualized benefits of receiving a vaccine there is also a greater societal good when vaccines are near universal of eliminating/reducing the disease to background so that it the community as a whole is safe. The unvaxxed hurt those who cannot medically be vaccinated or the vaccine is less effective for them due to a compromised immune system. That’s more people than people realize. Being unvaxxed also hurts the average person because it allows spread and the rise of variants.


  34. - WestBurbs - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    Sorry - 12:59 anon was me. I’ll add that unvaxxed are, in fact, selfish and I don’t see any reasonable way to deny that.


  35. - The Doc - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    ==At this point it’s time to move on with life. The unvaxed are really just hurting themselves==

    Please stop peddling this garbage. Thanks!


  36. - Lurker - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:03 pm:

    Regarding this “Metra still does not have a vax policy. Not sure how since we are >100 employees and we get federal dollars.”
    I asked the same question at IDOR and I would not let it go. Finally, informed by Administration office that the rules only apply to private business until Biden can get it applied to Federal employees. (I’ll stop here for ban police)


  37. - MrX - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    “Also, Indiana is currently recruiting Chicago police who don’t want to be vaccinated. Maybe they’ll take our IDOC workers as well.”

    Quickest way to get someone in IDOC to shut up about how great states like Indiana and Florida are is to show them what they pay COs.


  38. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    == Allows us to remove a major talking point for antivax/anti govt types ==

    And you’ve lost.

    You can not put uninformed ramblings on the same level as professional and educated analysis.

    == compromise worth considering is treating a positive PCR within past 6 months as equivalent to fully vaxxed. ==

    It is not the equivalent of being fully vaxxed. See how you’ve already lost by trying to compromise a matter of biology.

    You don’t move for them, they move to you or they get left behind.

    Maybe next we can offer a compromise on the amount of kinetic energy that exists when hitting a wall after getting into an accident while speeding.


  39. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    =Allows us to remove a major talking point for antivax/anti govt types.=

    You must of not spent much time around these folks. They have many, many, major talking points. And they are largely non-sensical. In a public health crisis where the necessary steps for mitigation are clear you can’t exactly meet people where they are particularly when they are being obstinate. At this stage of the game our focus should be on mandates and consequences.


  40. - Manchester - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:25 pm:

    Fire them. Take the jab or lose your job, benefits and unemployment.


  41. - Interesting - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    Start cutting people loose. The pension implications alone will help most of the willfully ignorant find the Lord on the matter.


  42. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:52 pm:

    === … consider the devasting (sic) effects that would have on downstate that would go far beyond covid.

    JB needs to use a carrot not a stick … ===

    Increased deaths from a disease is not devastating enough.

    Carrots have been used for months. We’re talking about free vaccine with no administration cost (where are all those GOP pols who whine about socialism). States are giving cash bonuses and lotteries using tax money to entice folks to get the shots - especially in red states (oops more socialism). This hasn’t worked because of the politization by the GOP and ambivalence of many Dem pols. Delta has shown how the failure to adequately vaccinate and take preventive measures has increased the death toll. Now’s the time to stop babying these people and require them to get vaccinated.


  43. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 1:57 pm:

    P.S. Just got my Moderna booster. Still frustrated by people ignoring mask mandate.


  44. - Jocko - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:00 pm:

    == Allows us to remove a major talking point for antivax/anti govt types==
    Covid kills. End of discussion.

    If you’re not willing to do the bare minimum for your fellow citizens, you don’t get to participate. Better get your Amazon Prime and GrubHub accounts up and running.


  45. - Mason born - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:03 pm:

    I remain steadfastly convinced that if the Governor told AFSCME to pound sand and enforced the mandate. (After the inevitable legal challenge) The DOC workers who quit would be a tiny fraction. Maybe you get a few ppl who could retire but might have waited to retire earlier but the vast majority will grumble and roll up their sleeve. There just aren’t that many options for jobs paying that much with those benefits in that area. Especially ones you can get with a high school diploma.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:12 pm:

    === Stay frustrated my friend, if I’m vaxxed, not wearing a mask.===

    Are you vaxxed?

    Wouldn’t you want others vaccinated too if you’re vaccinated?


  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    === but I’m 100% against mandates.===

    The US Supreme Court disagrees with you.

    The reason you should wait others vaccinated is to stop the spread, and keep others safe from hospitalization or worse when not vaccinated.

    Vaccines work in the process of eradication, if we can get others vaccinated.

    Your ignorance to that is telling.


  48. - Towndal64 - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    The data from IDOC is over 2 weeks old. The vaccination rate is higher in at least one facility, but is still only about 67% at this facilty.


  49. - FiveTallAndFiveWide - Friday, Oct 22, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    Some of you *really* don’t seem to understand where power is held in terms of the ability to mandate behavior among a unionized workforce.

    It has been been fun to watch the loudest Union supporters’ heads spin as they learn how things actually work now that they oppose the unions’ position for once.


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