A study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine on September 16, 2021 reported that less than half of CNAs in the nation’s nursing homes have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The researchers found: “Among the more than 14 900 nursing homes reporting vaccination data by July 18, 2021, 60.0% of staff and 81.4% of residents were fully vaccinated on average. Average vaccination coverage was lowest among CNAs (49.2%) and registered nurses and licensed practical nurses (61.0%), with higher coverages noted among therapists (70.9%) and physicians and independent practitioners (77.3%). After adjustment, for-profit ownership was associated with a decrease of 2.5 (95% CI, −3.2 to 1.8) and 3.3 (95% CI, −4.0 to 2.6) percentage points for staff and resident vaccination coverages, respectively, compared with nonprofit facilities. Each additional Medicare star rating was associated with a 1.4 (95% CI, 1.0-1.8) and 1.2 (95% CI, 1.0-1.4) percentage point increase in staff and resident vaccination coverages, respectively. A 10 percentage point increase in longer-tenured staff was associated with increases of 1.5 (95% CI, 1.2-1.9) and 0.6 (95% CI, 0.5-0.8) percentage points in staff and resident vaccination coverages, respectively. Greater percentages of staff and residents who were non-White (ie, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian, and 2 or more races) were associated with lower vaccination coverages for both groups. A 10 percentage point increase in the county adult vaccination coverage was associated with increases of 2.7 (95% CI, 2.2-3.2) and 1.4 (95% CI, 1.0-1.8) percentage points in staff and resident vaccination coverages, respectively, while a 10 percentage point increase in Republican vote margin in the 2020 presidential election was associated with a decrease of 1.4 (95% CI, −1.8 to −1.1) percentage points in staff vaccination coverage.”
“Results of this cross-sectional study demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccination coverage among health care staff in nursing homes lagged relative to resident coverage, with the lowest coverage among CNAs, who constitute the majority of direct caregivers. We found that nonprofit and nonchain nursing homes, facilities with higher Medicare star ratings, and facilities with longer-tenured staff achieved greater vaccine coverage, suggesting that organizational characteristics, including ownership structure, quality, and ability to retain staff, may be key in facilities’ ability to vaccinate residents and staff. However, the present findings suggest that facilities are also subject to broader challenges to vaccine acceptance in the community because facility coverages were strongly associated with county-wide vaccination coverage and staff coverage was strongly associated with 2020 presidential election voting patterns.”
An Editor’s Note accompanying the published study stated, in part: “Certified nursing assistants bathe, dress, and groom residents. They help them eat. Physical distancing is impossible. A CNA with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result is highly likely to transmit COVID-19 to a resident. For this reason, nursing homes would be the most sensible place to introduce a vaccine mandate, because unvaccinated nursing home staff present an imminent risk to the vulnerable residents in their care. A recent Biden administration initiative that would make federal funding for nursing homes contingent on the vaccination of their employees is an important step. Certified nursing assistants work extremely hard and have an immense positive influence on the care of nursing home residents. In general, CNAs are sorely underpaid and receive inadequate benefits, including sick leave. We believe low voluntary vaccination rates among CNAs suggests a failure of nursing home owners to effectively partner with their most essential workers and provides one more indication of the need to improve the pay and working conditions of this group.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to an infection acquired in a nursing home such as COVID-19, nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home fraud, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim attorney in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers (nursing home claim lawyers) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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