Flu vaccination rates: staff up, seniors down

A recent analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported a reduced number of COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated nursing homes residents.

According to researchers, this finding suggests that robust vaccine coverage among residents and staff, together with the continued use of face masks and other infection-control measures, likely provides some protection for small numbers of unvaccinated residents in congregate settings. That said, the authors concluded, there is a “critical need for ongoing vaccination programs and surveillance testing in nursing homes to mitigate future outbreaks.”

The study sought individual-level data to better understand real-world vaccine effectiveness specific to nursing home residents. 

Study data, collected from Genesis HealthCare electronic records, focused on the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among vaccinated residents and unvaccinated residents of 280 nursing homes across 21 states.

A breakdown of study participants included 18,242 nursing home residents who received at least one dose of an mRNA vaccine. Of those residents, 13,048 also had received a second dose. A total of 3,990 residents were unvaccinated.