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Health CareNursing home residents at risk as staff vaccines lag | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors

Nursing home residents at risk as staff vaccines lag | #healthcare | #elderly | #seniors


Vaccination rates for COVID-19 among the staff at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities vary widely, but are too low at many facilities to prevent future outbreaks of the disease that has claimed more than 8,020 staff and resident lives so far at such facilities — more than one-third of the state’s pandemic deaths. 

The first data on vaccination rates at the state’s 586 nursing homes and assisted living facilities shows that, on average, 55.7% of staff is vaccinated, along with 84.6% of residents.

“It appears efforts to provide access and education to long-term care health care providers are falling short of what we had hoped,” said Melissa O’Connor, a professor at Villanova University’s nursing school, whose work focuses on geriatrics.

The snapshot of vaccination rates, from data reported by the nursing homes for April 21, underscores the challenges that remain — for both long-term care and the public at large — in overcoming vaccine hesitancy to reach a level of immunity that will slow and ultimately stop the pandemic’s spread.

At six of the facilities — including Millennium Memory Care at Matawan and Manahawkin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Stafford — none of the staff is fully vaccinated. At five others — including Inglemoor Center in Englewood and The Arbor at Laurel Circle in Bridgewater — all of the nurses, aides, dietary workers and housekeeping staff are.

A resident of the New Jersey Veterans Home at Menlo Park getting his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 100 died at the home from the virus.

In contrast to staff vaccination rates, many more facilities — 58 — report that 100% of their residents have received the full vaccine regimen. Among them: the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, the Jewish Home at River Vale, and Arden Courts of Wayne. Only one — The Country Home in Morris Plains, a memory care facility — achieved a perfect score, with all staff and residents vaccinated, according to the Health Department data.


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