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⭒ New Developments

Only 21% of CA Nursing Homes Comply with Staff Vaccination Mandate

Despite a statewide mandate that requires nursing home staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by September 30, 2021, 861 nursing homes still have vaccination rates below 100%, with another 68 nursing homes failing to report their staff vaccination rates altogether.  Only 250 (21%) of the 1,179 nursing homes reporting to CMS (as of November 28, 2021 per CMS) reported full compliance with the mandate.  One-hundred and seventy-one nursing homes have less than 90% of their staff vaccinated, two months after the deadline for compliance.

California’s pervasive non-compliance with the nursing home staff vaccination mandates is particularly worrisome after a recent New England Journal of Medicine study was published showing a relationship between staff vaccination rates and the transmission of COVID-19 and deaths among nursing home residents.  The study found that COVID-19 death rates in nursing homes with lower staff vaccination were 195% higher than predicted outcomes if the facilities had had higher vaccination rates.

It is unknown whether the California Department of Health (CDPH) has taken any steps to enforce the statewide mandate.  CDPH’s counterpart in Connecticut has issued over $19 million in fines against long term care facilities that failed to certify compliance with a similar state mandate for staff vaccinations.