AARP Calls For Nursing Homes To Require Booster Shots For Residents And Staff

<span class="legendSpanClass">Plus, 10 Questions to Ask if a Loved One Is in a Nursing Home</span>
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 2:16 PM CST

JACKSON, Miss., Jan. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- With a large number of seniors living in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities facing potential infection from the COVID-19 Omicron variant, AARP Mississippi State Director, Kimberly L. Campbell, Esq., is calling for immediate action to get residents and staff vaccinated and boosted. Campbell says there were 67 confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff and 49 confirmed cases among residents in the first two weeks of January.

"The COVID-19 virus has demonstrated repeatedly that it is very dynamic," Campbell said. "AARP urges nursing homes to immediately prioritize boosters for both residents and staff. While still providing protection against severe illness and death, being fully vaccinated without a booster is no longer protecting nursing home residents from contracting COVID-19; the data are clear that a booster is necessary to remain protected. The rate of new infections in nursing home residents who have received a booster dose is more than 90 percent lower than the rate among residents who are not fully vaccinated, or who are vaccinated without an additional booster dose, according to CDC data for the week ending January 9."

Campbell says only about 13-percent of direct care staff at Mississippi nursing homes have received a booster.

"Families who have loved ones in nursing homes want to know that they are safe," Campbell said. "For those with a spouse, sibling, parent, or other loved one in a nursing home, AARP has developed 10 key questions to ask facilities—including questions about booster shots—to help keep them safe and stay informed."

10 Questions to Ask if a Loved One Is in a Nursing Home

1.    What is the status of COVID-19 vaccinations in the facility?
2.    Is the facility screening and testing residents and staff for COVID-19 in line with government recommendations and regulations?
3.    If COVID-19 is detected, is the facility ready to respond quickly to prevent further spread?
4.    Has a positive case been identified at the facility in the past two weeks?
5.    Is the facility managing visits in line with government regulations?
6.    How is the facility helping residents stay connected with their loved ones virtually?
7.    Does the facility have sufficient levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) — masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, gowns and gloves?
8.    How is the facility communicating important COVID-19 information?
9.    Is the nursing home currently at full staffing levels for nurses, aides and other workers?
10. Are healthy-living programs back up and running?

For more information, visit www.aarp.org/ms.

AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

Contact: Ronda Gooden,
601-898-5417 or 601-209-1812 (cell)

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SOURCE AARP Mississippi

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