Image of nurse administering vaccine to patient's arm
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COVID-19 mRNA vaccination was 31% effective against infection for nursing home residents who were up to date on their shots between November 2022 and January 2023, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Investigators analyzed data from the National Healthcare Safety Network. Most residents were estimated to have received all recommended vaccines, including a bivalent booster shot, the researchers reported. 

The study could not account for waning vaccine efficacy, or assess efficacy against severe COVID-19 outcomes. But investigators noted that mRNA vaccine efficacy against severe outcomes has been shown to be higher and more sustained than it is against symptomatic infection.

“The goal of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program is to prevent severe COVID-19 associated outcomes, including death,” they wrote. 

Data released in April for people aged 12 years and older showed that effectiveness of the bivalent boosters vaccines against hospitalization or death reached 67% two weeks after receipt of a dose, falling to 38% after 20 weeks. 

The authors recommended that nursing home residents continue to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and, if eligible, receive an additional bivalent dose “to optimize protection against infection and related complications.”

Newly formulated mRNA vaccines that better target circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2 are currently in development, with drugmakers aiming for a fall release.

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