The long-term care industry is more than three-fourths toward its goal of getting 75% of staff vaccinated against COVID-19. Industry leaders say they remain committed to reaching the target rate, even after its self-designated deadline, which passed Wednesday.
The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that about 57% of staff in nursing homes had completed their COVID-19 vaccinations as of mid-June. Industry leaders said they expect that figure to continue to increase, and show that the total was much closer to the 75% goal by the time lagging data reflects the June 30 level.
The latest data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week also found that long-term care facilities in four states had reached the 75% staff vaccination goal, whose June 30 target date was set by the industry in February.
“Since the beginning of the year, the industry has made significant progress toward increasing the number of nursing home staff who are vaccinated, and we commend the thousands of facilities that have met the goal to vaccinate three-quarters of their staff. However, the current, national results indicate that more work needs to be done,” David Gifford, MD, chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, said in a statement Wednesday.
He added that the industry is steadfast about hitting the goal. Providers must continue to be vigilant against the virus and ensure they’re doing everything necessary to protect residents, he added.
“Vaccination rates among long-term care staff continue to mirror other healthcare settings and general population rates, especially in certain parts of the country, because there continues to be a large amount of misinformation circulating around these safe and effective vaccines,” Gifford said.
“Ongoing vaccine education and outreach is critical in protecting our vulnerable population from COVID-19, and we remain focused on sharing credible information through our #GetVaccinated campaign,” he added.