Covid Booster Rates are Sluggish in Nursing Homes

In a troubling sign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that booster rates were just 22% among fully vaccinated nursing home staff as of December 5. In addition, the CDC says that just over half (51%) of fully vaccinated nursing home residents had received a COVID-19 booster shot as of that date. “Fully vaccinated” was defined as two doses of a two-dose mRNA series (Pfizer or Moderna) or one dose of a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson).

“The 22% figure is particularly alarming, since nursing home staffers could infect not only themselves, but also the vulnerable residents they see each day,“ said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “That is why the CDC is strongly urging people who live or work in long term care facilities to get a COVID-19 booster shot.”

Research shows that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines may decrease over time, especially among people aged 65 and older, and early studies suggest that boosters are needed in vaccinated people to maintain adequate protection against hospitalization or death due to the new, more transmissible Omicron variant.

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