Risk v. Reward

Vaccination is the best safeguard against the highly transmissible Delta variant. 99% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Residents in nursing homes account for a significant number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. There have been 704,233 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Over 50,000 deaths in nursing homes.

Becker’s Hospital Review listed the states with the best vaccination rates for nursing home residents. Vermont is #1 with over 95%. Nevada is worse with 73%. South Carolina is #37 at 84%. Better than the vaccination rate for nursing home employees. There are 15,655 skilled nursing centers with 1.7 million beds in the U.S.

However, nursing home employees must receive the first dose of either a two- or one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 5, 2021. All eligible staff must have received either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson version by Jan. 4, 2022.

“CMS is taking necessary action to establish critical safeguards for the health of all people, their families, and the providers who care for them. CMS knows that everyone working in health care wants to do what is best to keep their patients safe. Yet, unvaccinated staff pose both a direct and indirect threat to the very patients that they serve. Vaccines are a crucial scientific tool in preserving and restoring efficient operations across the nation’s health care system while protecting individuals. This new requirement presents an opportunity to continue driving down COVID-19 infections, stabilize the nation’s health care system, and ensure safety for anyone seeking care”