CDC: Flu hitting elderly especially hard, but only half of nursing home workers vaccinated

Share this article:
Higher acuity residents drove skilled nursing home bed prices to record levels in 2013, report finds
Higher acuity residents drove skilled nursing home bed prices to record levels in 2013, report finds
The 2012-13 flu season has been especially bad for the elderly, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in a call with reporters. Despite this, CDC figures show about half of nursing home workers have not been vaccinated.

Hospitalizations related to laboratory-confirmed flu cases among those 65 and older have reached a rate of 82 per 100,000 people, said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner. The rate for all age groups is about one-fourth as high, or 19 per 100,000.

“These rates are undoubtedly an underestimate because influenza-related hospitalizations can be missed either because the testing isn't performed or because cases may be attributed to other causes of pneumonia or other things that may result from influenza,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. He called the rate of hospitalizations among the elderly “quite striking.”

Frieden also stressed the importance of vaccination for healthcare workers, including those in long-term care facilities. He said the CDC has gathered its best vaccination data ever this year. It shows a vaccination rate of about 85% among pharmacists, doctors and nurses. But the rate drops to around or below 50% for allied care workers, including those in nursing homes.

The rate of healthcare worker vaccinations “routinely” reaches 90% or higher in facilities that “make it easy” by providing the vaccine during work hours, at work stations, Frieden said.

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...