With the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant in Massachusetts, Mass Senior Care Association is strongly urging members to make COVID-19 vaccination boosters a priority for all eligible staff and residents and to take advantage of the resources available to help increase staff booster shot uptake rates. While we have achieved universal vaccination among residents and staff, it is critically important that we continue to encourage staff to receive the COVID-19 booster shot as it is our best protection against the virus. Current Massachusetts data for skilled nursing facilities reveals that 70% of residents and 41% of staff have received booster shots.
This week, Mass Senior Care hosted a Zoom session, Critical Need to Increase Booster Shots NOW!, during which Dr. Larissa Lucas, Medical Director at North Shore Physician’s Group, noted that “The Coronavirus will continue to mutate and spread until everyone is vaccinated. Research shows a 3rd dose of mRNA vaccine and second dose of J+J (with J+J or mRNA) reduces severe illness and spread from both Delta and Omicron variants.” Dr. Lucas reiterated that the same rules of prevention apply to the COVID-19 variants, including, Vaccinate, Mask, Test, Air Circulation, Isolate/Treat. Other presenters included Amy Tramontozzi, Public Health Nurse Advisor, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; Emily Cooper, MPH, Quality Improvement Manager, HealthcentricAdvisors, and Jill Landis, VP of Quality Management, Berkshire Health Systems. To view the PowerPoint presentation from the Zoom session, please click here.
In addition, Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL yesterday urged members across the country to quickly prepare for a surge in the Omicron variant that could set new daily COVID-19 records in the United States in the next two to four weeks. “The data from other countries now verify that the number of infections from Omicron is doubling every two to three days. Omicron has now been identified in almost 100 countries around the world and we need to prepare now,” said Parkinson.
Mass Senior Care encourages members to utilize the additional resources for COVID-19 vaccine boosters listed below and to contact us if you are encountering barriers or having difficulty obtaining COVID-19 vaccine boosters. To arrange a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, please contact the DPH Bureau of Healthcare Safety and Quality at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MSCA's Arming Ourselves Against COVID-19 Website
- CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Website
- CDC Weekly HCP & Resident COVID-19 Vaccination
- DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Website