COVID-19 infections in U.S. nursing homes quadrupled between mid-April and mid-May, according to an ongoing AARP analysis of federal data. But the rate of protective COVID-19 booster vaccinations, while still ticking upward, has slowed to a trickle.
About 72% of residents and 48% of staff members had received a booster shot in addition to their original vaccination series by the week of May 22. That leaves 330,000 residents and 1 million workers still unboosted, the elder advocate reported late last week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends boosters shots for nursing home residents, who are vulnerable to poor outcomes and derive 47% additional protection from the shots, the agency has found. Healthcare workers are also encouraged to get boosted.
AARP’s report also showed that the nursing home staffing crisis is not abating. In mid-May, 31% of facilities reported a shortage of nurses or aides.