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In the News
April 27, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccinations in Nursing Home Residents and Staff Give Robust Protection, Though Breakthrough Infections Still Possible

Author Affiliations
  • 1Consulting Editor, JAMA Health Forum and JAMA
JAMA Health Forum. 2021;2(4):e211195. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.1195

Nursing home residents and staff members who have been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 are much less likely to become infected, have symptomatic illness, and require hospitalization compared with their unvaccinated counterparts, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of cases in Kentucky and Chicago nursing facilities.

Even so, a small percentage of fully vaccinated residents experienced breakthrough infections, and 2 nursing home residents died, pointing to the importance of a continued focus on infection prevention and control practices.

Both reports, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, note that although vaccines to prevent COVID-19 have been found to be highly effective in clinical trials, the data on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in skilled nursing facilities and against emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 are limited.

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