Jul 15, 2021
AARP Sounds Alarm on COVID Vaccination Rates for Nursing Home Staff
New AARP Analysis Shows Just One in Five Nursing Homes Meets Industry Benchmark for Staff Vaccinations; Wide Variation from State to State

En Español | WASHINGTON – The latest release of AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard incorporates new data on vaccination rates among staff and residents, and finds that just one in five facilities meets the threshold of having at least 75% of staff fully vaccinated. Nationally, slightly more than half of health care workers in nursing homes were fully vaccinated (56.7%) and about 78% of residents were fully vaccinated as of the week ending June 20. Vaccination rates vary widely from state to state, ranging from less than half of staff (41%) in Louisiana to a high of 84% in Hawaii.

AARP’s analysis found that more nursing homes reported an urgent need for PPE in the last month, increasing from 3.6% to 5% of facilities, and 24% of facilities reported a staffing shortage—a problem that has persisted through the pandemic.

“More than 184,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19,” said Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “This national tragedy cannot be repeated. With cases once again rising across the country and considering the highly contagious Delta variant, every effort must be made to protect vulnerable nursing home residents. AARP encourages residents and staff in long-term care facilities to get a free COVID vaccine to protect yourself, your family and your community.”

AARP sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday, urging the agency not to become complacent regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, “especially for vulnerable populations like LTC [long-term care] facility residents,” and strongly recommending “that the federal government commit to working with states, long-term care facilities, and other entities, as needed, to ensure that those facilities can access and administer vaccines on a continuing basis for the foreseeable future.” The letter applauds CMS for publishing data on nursing home vaccinations, and calls on the agency to offer that data in a more user-friendly format. AARP has repeatedly urged transparency and public reporting about the impact of COVID on residents and staff in nursing facilities.

The AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard analyzes federally reported data in four-week periods going back to June 1, 2020. Using this data, the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the dashboard to provide snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff, with the goal of identifying specific areas of concern at the national and state levels in a timely manner.

The full Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard is available at www.aarp.org/nursinghomedashboard. For more information on how COVID is impacting nursing homes and AARP’s advocacy on this issue, visit www.aarp.org/nursinghomes.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.orgwww.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

For further information: Amanda Davis, 202-434-2560, adavis@aarp.org, @AARPMedia