First doses help nursing home residents, report shows

FILE (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
FILE (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Partial vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 63% effective in preventing new infections in residents at two nursing facilities, a report released Monday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

The findings are similar to other first-dose effectiveness estimates for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the broader adult population in non-congregate settings.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses.

“Even during a large disease outbreak in a long-term care setting, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, including in older adults … with a high prevalence of underlying medical conditions,” the report said.

The report was based on data from two Connecticut skilled nursing facilities that had COVID-19 outbreaks in January after staff members and residents were first vaccinated on Dec. 18. The Connecticut Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention partnered on the study, which included a review of the electronic records of 463 residents between December and February. During the investigation period, 97 cases of COVID-19 infection occurred. By the date of discharge or the last day of the investigation, nearly 66% of residents, or 304 people, had received the recommended two doses of the vaccine. Another 72 people had received one dose and 87 residents had not been vaccinated. 

According to a CDC tracking system, 237,198 people in Florida long-term care facilities have received at least one vaccine dose through a federal pharmacy program. Another 154,255 people in Florida long-term care facilities are fully vaccinated due to the program. Meanwhile, according to the latest state data, 3,478 nursing-home and long-term care residents are COVID-19 positive. At least 10,860 long-term care residents and staff members have died of COVID-19, according to the state.