Nursing Home Residents Encouraged to Get the Latest COVID-19 Booster
Vaccinations Prove to Be the Best Protection As Infections Spike
SEATTLE, Jan. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- As COVID-19 infections spike this winter, the Department of Health and Human Services is reporting an increase in daily hospital admissions for those 70 and older with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. In some states, hospitalization rates for seniors with COVID-19 have already surpassed those during spring and summer omicron spikes. Only 54% of nursing home residents in Washington received the latest booster.
In 2022, COVID-19 played a role in the deaths of more than 183,000 people over the age of 65, compared to almost 4,000 deaths from influenza, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. is still seeing about 400 deaths each day due to COVID-19.
"As a practicing doctor in nursing facilities and the hospital, I witness the heartache and suffering of my older patients and their families when they become severely ill from COVID-19. I compare it to wearing your seat beat when driving. The "seat belt" doesn't prevent you from getting into a car accident, but it does help you from getting seriously injured. I encourage nursing home residents to get the bivalent booster. It offers the best protection against the virus we are seeing now," said Thuan Ong, Comagine Health's medical director and leading nursing home physician.
"Nursing home residents and their families are among the most at risk, so it's critical they receivethe bivalent booster. Older adults have the highest risk of severe infection, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and the best way to reduce the chances of this is to get the latest COVID-19 booster," he added.
The effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations decreases over time. Most patients are eligible to receive a booster if their last shot was at least two months ago and they have not already received the updated bivalent booster. The COVID-19 omicron-specific bivalent shot is a combination of half the original vaccine and half of a new vaccine that is specific for the omicron BA5 and BA4 subvariants. Because the COVID-19 virus continues to change and mutate, this vaccine is the best protection to prevent reinfections, severe disease and disability, hospitalizations and death.
Comagine Health is offering interviews with our medical directors about this topic. If you're interested, please email: [email protected].
This effort is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and is a key component of Comagine Health's work as a Quality Innovation Network–Quality Improvement Organization for Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
About Comagine Health
Comagine Health works collaboratively with patients, providers, payers and other stakeholders to reimagine, redesign and implement sustainable improvements in the health care system. As a trusted, neutral party, we work in our communities to address key, complex health and health care delivery problems. In all our engagements and initiatives, we draw upon our expertise in quality improvement, care management, health information technology, analytics and research. We invite our partners and communities to work with us to improve health and redesign the health care delivery system. For more information, please visit comagine.org.
SOURCE Comagine Health
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