A new Oregon Health Authority report shows that the state’s push to vaccinate at least 75% of all long-term care facility residents and employees—through vaccine clinics and ongoing vaccination maintenance efforts—is paying off.
The Oregon Health Authority Interim Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF) COVID-19 Vaccination Report shows that the percentage of vaccinated residents among reporting long-term care facilities exceeds the state’s 75% target for COVID-19 vaccination. It summarizes vaccination data voluntarily reported by 62% of Oregon’s licensed nursing, residential care and assisted living facilities that serve older adults and people with disabilities.
As of May 9, 2021, 84% of residents at long-term care facilities that reported data have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19, and 62% of long-term care staff have been completely vaccinated, according to the report. A completely vaccinated person is an individual who has received both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
Residents and staff at long-term care facilities are ever changing. The goal is to have vaccine maintenance plans in place to eventually maintain a 75% rate of vaccination among residents and staff at any point in time.
Geographical variations also were observed in the long-term care facility vaccination report’s findings, including that vaccination percentages were lower in southern and eastern Oregon. Percentages also differed between facility types: Vaccination percentages were higher among long-term care residents in residential care and assisted living facilities than in nursing facilities.
“This data collection is a natural extension of our program’s work to track vaccination and provide infection control support in these settings,” said Rebecca Pierce, Ph.D., manager of the Healthcare-Associated Infections Program at the OHA Public Health Division.
“Nursing, assisted-living, and residential care facilities continue to be at risk for spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 given their size and congregate nature. Residents in these settings are at elevated risk for serious health consequences from the virus. Vaccination remains our No. 1 tool to prevent spread and serious illness from COVID-19 in these settings.”
Reporting of vaccination data for residents and staff was voluntary for long-term care facilities. The Oregon Department of Human Services and the federal Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have since required long-term care facilities they regulate to report vaccination data, effective June 1 and June 14, respectively.
The key to bolstering vaccinations among long-term care staff, Pierce explained, is ready access to vaccines and good information. “Long-term care facility staff should be able to get vaccinated quickly and conveniently, and staff and residents should be able to access reliable information from trusted sources about COVID-19 vaccines.”
Source: Oregon Health Authority