AARP calls for nursing homes to require COVID-19 boosters

AARP called on nursing homes across the nation to require COVID-19 booster shots for residents and staff amid a rise in infections and lag in booster rates, the organization said Jan. 20.  

Cases nationwide are surging, with infection rates among residents and staff reaching record levels. CDC data shows more than 35 percent of fully vaccinated nursing home residents and 70 percent of fully vaccinated staff hadn’t received a booster as of Jan. 16. Thirteen percent of residents and roughly 14 percent of staff are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated and therefore ineligible for a booster. 

"While being fully vaccinated without a booster still provides protection against severe illness and death, it is no longer adequate for nursing home residents," Susan Reinhard, AARP senior vice president and director of the AARP Public Policy Institute, and Ari Houser, a senior methods adviser at the institute, wrote. "A booster is necessary to remain protected."

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