Some Nursing Home Staff Shunning Vaccine as Many Get 2nd Dose

February 1, 2021
Nearly 570,000 residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, new federal data shows. But an estimated 50% of frontline nursing home staff are still refusing to get the shots, which remains a persistent and glaring problem for the national effort to fully vaccinate the facilities. “It may even be as high as 60% if you include other settings of care, like assisted living facilities,” said Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA—the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. “It’s probably the biggest issue that we have right now, the hesitancy on the part of staff.” A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among nearly 11,500 nursing homes that have conducted one vaccination clinic through the partnership “a median of 77.8% of residents and 37.5% of staff” received a first dose. “The lower percentage of staff members vaccinated raises concern about low coverage among a population at high risk for occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2,” the report said. Nearly 147,000 residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from Covid-19 as of Jan. 28, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s about 37% of all U.S. Covid-19 deaths. But nearly 1,400 nursing home workers have also died from Covid-19, and nearly 500,000 have contracted the virus, federal data shows.