Nursing home residents may need COVID-19 booster injection, per CDC

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A federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Wednesday shows that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have become less effective in keeping nursing home residents safe as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus has spread and booster shots might be needed.

The report came as the White House announced that the booster injections will be made available to the public on September 20. The latest edition of the CDC’s publication “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly” shows that from March 1 to May 9, two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines were nearly 75% effective in protecting residents of nursing homes from infections with the disease. COVID-19. For the period from June 21 to August 1, as the delta variant expanded, the efficacy of two doses of the vaccine fell to 53.1%.

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“Because residents of nursing homes may remain at some risk of infection (COVID-19) despite vaccination, several COVID-19 prevention strategies, including infection control, testing and vaccination of limbs nursing home staff, residents and visitors are essential, ”the scientists wrote. in the report. “An additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine could be considered for residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities to optimize a protective immune response. ”

To reach their conclusions, scientists looked at tens of thousands of reports submitted by nursing homes. They found that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines became less effective over time and less effective as the delta variant became the dominant strain of the virus.

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For example, both vaccines were found to be 74.7% effective during the period March 1 to May 9; 67.5% in effect from May 10 to June 20; and 53.1% from June 21 to August 1. But the scientists said they couldn’t differentiate the impact of the delta variant on vaccine effectiveness from other potential factors, including the decrease in vaccine effectiveness over time.

“Further research on the possible impact of the two factors on (vaccine effectiveness) among nursing home residents is warranted,” the study authors wrote.


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