The death toll on American nursing home residents is at their lowest level since the coronavirus first hit the United States two years ago, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some 67 residents died during the week ending March 27. While that figure may be adjusted next week, it has reached its final target during June 2021 before its facilities are hit by delta and omakron variants. Although cases among residents have grown very rapidly in the fall and winter, deaths still have reached nearly 1,500 in January before steadily declining.
But experts say there is little reason for satisfaction. Nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable to the virus due to their age and basic medical conditions. While booster shots have been proven to be more protective against severe illness, federal regulators have already approved another booster shot the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines last week. Concerns have also been raised about a highly specific subtype of Omicron, known as BA.2.
Getting a second booster shot for nursing home residents is “a real policy priority,” said David Grabowski, a health policy researcher at Harvard Medical School who studies nursing homes. “We know it’s safe.”
While there was a significant push by the federal government and major pharmacy chains to vaccinate residents of the nursing home when the initial shots were first available, many facilities were slow to roll out the booster shot, despite the outbreak last fall. Been done About 88 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, and about 76 percent receive a booster shot, according to the latest federal data.
Safety staff members have been tightened, with federal mandates requiring vaccination for healthcare workers to face legal challenges. While 86% of staff are fully vaccinated, only 43% receive a booster shot. In 13 states, less than a third of employees have received covered protective measures.
“We have a lot of nursing homes around the country that have been left behind,” Dr. Grabowski said, adding that he was concerned about residents of the facilities that primarily serve Medicaid and people of color. General Chat Chat Lounge “I think there are going to be real issues of equality,” he said.
The difference between those who receive the initial vaccination and those who receive additional medication may be high, said Brendan Williams, chief executive of the New Hampshire Healthcare Association, a state nursing home trade group. People seem more skeptical of the need for extra shots. “I’m concerned that there are mixed messages from the federal government,” he said.
While many nursing homes say they will provide additional medicine to their staff and residents, there does not appear to be a significant urgency, Dr. Grabowski said. In Connecticut, which issued an executive order this year mandating a booster shot for workers in nursing homes, state health officials have been told that the same direction was not required for both boosters.
Mr Williams remains cautious. “At the moment, there seems to be no crisis,” he said. “There is no getting attention, but things can always change. That’s about it. “