US nursing home deaths hit lowest levels since pandemic began

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TUESDAY, April 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) — New government data shows COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents have fallen to the lowest levels seen since the pandemic began.

Some 67 residents died nationwide from COVID-19 in the week ending March 27, according to the latest statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that doesn’t mean care home staff and residents can relax just yet, experts have warned.

There is growing concern about the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant of omicron. Nursing home residents continue to be more vulnerable both because of their age and their underlying medical conditions, even though they have received vaccinations and a first booster shot.

Getting the second booster that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week for nursing home residents “is a real policy priority,” said David Grabowski, health policy researcher at Harvard Medical. School that studies retirement homes. The New York Times. “We know it’s protective.”

Despite this, nursing homes were slow to deploy the first booster. Even now, only 76% of nursing home residents have their first recalls, according to federal data. The data is worse for nursing home staff: around 86% are vaccinated, but only 43% have received boosters. Some states have less than a third of nursing home workers who have received booster shots, The temperature reported.

“We have a lot of nursing homes across the country that are lagging behind,” Grabowski said, adding that he’s especially worried about residents of facilities that primarily serve people on Medicaid and minorities. “I think there are going to be real fairness issues here,” he added.

The New York Times Item