Closeup image of senior woman receiving a vaccination; Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

A multicomponent vaccine campaign did not have a significant effect on vaccination rates among skilled nursing facility residents or staff, according to a study led by a researcher at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research.

The research involved 133 skilled nursing facilities taking part in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program between December of 2020 and March of 2021. Participants, including nearly 8,000 long-stay residents and around 18,000 staff, were randomly assigned to either the intervention or control arms of the study. Facilities in the intervention group leveraged best practices for encouraging vaccination such as identifying frontline champions and giving small gifts to vaccinated staff, while those in the control group ran the program as usual, with no added incentives. 

The study showed that there was no significant difference in resident or staff vaccinations in facilities that received the vaccine campaign versus usual care. Among residents, vaccination rates were high, with 81.1% of residents getting vaccinated. Among staff, however, only 49.5% were vaccinated in the intervention arm, compared with 47.9% in the usual care arm.

Moving forward, vaccination campaigns to target staff will likely need to use additional approaches, the researchers said.

“Given the ongoing need to ensure adequate COVID-19 vaccine coverage in SNFs, it is critical to learn from successful and failed vaccine campaigns,” they wrote. “The present study results suggest that bundled interventions that use best practices are not enough to increase vaccine rates in SNFs. Future vaccine campaigns must also strive to create an organizational culture that addresses the concerns of all stakeholders, and brings staff and residents/proxies together with the common goal of ending the pandemic.”

The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.