AARP calls for nursing homes to require booster shots for residents and staff
DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - AARP Iowa State Director Brad Anderson is calling for nursing home staff and residents to get boosted due to the danger of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
Data from the CDC shows more than 120,000 new staff COVID-19 cases in nursing homes nationwide, including 1,925 here in Iowa in just the last two weeks. That’s a similar number of cases as reported during December 2020, the peak of last winter’s spike.
Nursing home resident cases are also on the rise, with at least 79,000 new cases nationwide, including 674 here in Iowa during the same timeframe.
”The COVID-19 virus has demonstrated repeatedly that it is very dynamic. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant over the past weeks poses a significant risk for residents and staff of nursing homes who have not been boosted. For their sake, we must act now and make the delivery of booster shots to nursing home residents and staff our highest priority,” said Anderson.
The rate of new infections in nursing home residents who have received a booster dose is more than 90 percent lower than the rate among residents who are not fully vaccinated, or who are vaccinated without an additional booster dose, according to CDC data.
As of mid-December, 70.6% of nursing home residents in Iowa were fully vaccinated with a booster dose, while only 22.6% of direct care staff had received a booster.
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