Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced a 6-week campaign to improve COVID-19 booster uptake rates including a focus on nursing homes.
As part of this campaign, CMS will focus on the requirement for nursing homes to educate and offer the COVID-19 vaccine, including subsequent boosters, outlined in QSO-21-19-NH. DPH will be verifying that this requirement is being complied with, particularly in facilities with low publicly reported vaccination rates, including booster rates. Facilities out of compliance will be faced with enforcement actions.
Facilities should verify their vaccination rates, including booster rates, which can be found on the CMS COVID-19 data website. If the posted rates are low, facilities should prepare for outreach from the DPH to ensure compliance with QSO-21-19-NH . If the posted rates are not accurate, you should verify the accuracy of your NHSN reporting and address where needed.
Currently, Massachusetts nursing facilities have among the best performance nationwide in regard to the booster rates, but there is more work to be done. Mass Senior Care strongly recommends members to continue to encourage both residents and staff to receive the COVID-19 booster. COVID-19 boosters are proven to be effective in protecting individuals from serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 even when they have a breakthrough infection. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines is particularly important for nursing home residents due to their underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses.