This good news is welcomed with much relief as infection rates have been rising among nursing home residents. Rochelle Walensky, M.D, CDC Director, attributes this rise in fully vaccinated residents to a possible decrease in vaccine efficacy due to time.
Unvaccinated residents are getting more readily affected by COVID-19 as expected by analysts. However, vaccinated residents who have also been administered the booster shot seem to be better protected and less likely to catch the virus. Walensky stated, “taken together, these data emphasize the critical importance of boosters to optimize the protection of vaccines over time, and that when boosters are used, that protection works.”
Additional efforts are being made to offer booster shots on a larger scale to prevent another surge. David Gifford, M.D., chief medical director of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), said “we are on track to get pretty much everyone the booster shot, probably by sometime in early January. I think we need to try to move that up and whether we can do that in short notice, that’s the challenge in our mind.”
Walenksy stated facilities are being matched with retail pharmacies through CDC so clinics for booster shots can be set up. She confirmed, “thousands of facilities have already been matched through CDC or by requesting support through their state health department.”
According to recent data, about 51% of nursing home residents have received booster shots.
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