Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel Working in Long-Term Care Facilities, by Job Category, National Healthcare Safety Network - United States, March 2021.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Jul 30; 70(30):1036-1039.MM
Residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and health care personnel (HCP) working in these facilities are at high risk for COVID-19-associated mortality. As of March 2021, deaths among LTCF residents and HCP have accounted for almost one third (approximately 182,000) of COVID-19-associated deaths in the United States (1). Accordingly, LTCF residents and HCP were prioritized for early receipt of COVID-19 vaccination and were targeted for on-site vaccination through the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program (2). In December 2020, CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) launched COVID-19 vaccination modules, which allow U.S. LTCFs to voluntarily submit weekly facility-level COVID-19 vaccination data.* CDC analyzed data submitted during March 1-April 4, 2021, to describe COVID-19 vaccination coverage among a convenience sample of HCP working in LTCFs, by job category, and compare HCP vaccination coverage rates with social vulnerability metrics of the surrounding community using zip code tabulation area (zip code area) estimates. Through April 4, 2021, a total of 300 LTCFs nationwide, representing approximately 1.8% of LTCFs enrolled in NHSN, reported that 22,825 (56.8%) of 40,212 HCP completed COVID-19 vaccination.† Vaccination coverage was highest among physicians and advanced practice providers (75.1%) and lowest among nurses (56.7%) and aides (45.6%). Among aides (including certified nursing assistants, nurse aides, medication aides, and medication assistants), coverage was lower in facilities located in zip code areas with higher social vulnerability (social and structural factors associated with adverse health outcomes), corresponding to vaccination disparities present in the wider community (3). Additional efforts are needed to improve LTCF immunization policies and practices, build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, and promote COVID-19 vaccination. CDC and partners have prepared education and training resources to help educate HCP and promote COVID-19 vaccination coverage among LTCF staff members.§.