Nursing home vaccination rates in Iowa fall short

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 file photo, nursing home residents wait on line to receive...
FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 file photo, nursing home residents wait on line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The Justice Department says it's decided against opening up any civil rights investigations against government-run nursing homes in New York over their COVID-19 response, in a letter to members of U.S. Congress, Friday, July 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, File)(Yuki Iwamura | AP)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 3:24 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Nursing home residents and staff in Iowa have been falling behind in COVID-19 vaccine rate, according to the AARP.

The AARP said vaccination rates have been improving in the last month but are still too low compared to goals, which they did not specify. Currently, in Iowa, around 90.9 percent of residents are vaccinated and 61.9 percent of staff are vaccinated. These are slightly higher than national averages, which show an 82.4 vaccination rate among residents and a 60 percent rate among staff, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in nursing homes across the country. The AARP said cases have increased by 50 percent among residents and 60 percent among staff from July 12th through the 18th.

In a press release, Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, called this is a “national disgrace.”

“As the new variants are emerging, facilities cannot let preventable problems be repeated,” she said. “The key is to increase vaccinations, and do it now.”

Over 2,300 residents and staff of Iowa nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19, representing 38 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Iowa.

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