A nurse refusing a vaccine shot
Credit: Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images Plus

COVID-19 vaccination campaigns with multiple components — such as town hall meetings, educational materials and gifts — did not significantly boost uptake rates among skilled nursing staff, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.  

The findings demonstrate an “urgent need” for providers to identify successful vaccination strategies to improve rates among workers, researchers said. 

They said providers must learn from successful and failed vaccine campaigns; findings suggest bundled interventions that highlight best practices aren’t enough, they added. 

“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,” investigators wrote. 

The research team, led by Sarah D. Berry, M.D., an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School, used data from 133 SNFs across 16 states. It encompassed vaccination uptake rates among 7,496 long-stay residents and 17,963 staff.

They found that 82.5% of residents were vaccinated in facilities with campaigns, while the figure was 79.8% for residents where there was no campaign. 

For staff, 49.5% were vaccinated in facilities where there was a campaign compared to 57.9% in facilities where there wasn’t one. That means that half of the staff remained unvaccinated at facilities, despite vaccination campaign efforts that specifically targeted them. 

“The multicomponent intervention did not improve vaccination rates in residents or staff with modest implementation of the intervention components,” the researchers concluded. “Given the low rates of staff vaccination, there is an urgent need to identify successful vaccination strategies in this setting.”