KENNETT SQUARE—Genesis HealthCare, one of the largest post-acute care providers in the United States, announced that 84 percent of its skilled nursing residents and 61 percent of skilled nursing staff members have been vaccinated, each receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, through Jan. 29, 2021.
Staff vaccine acceptance rates far exceed the national average, and resident acceptance rates at Genesis skilled nursing centers were also above the national average, based on vaccine administration data in an analysis published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Feb. 1, 2021, the CDC announced that “among 11,460 skilled nursing facilities with at least one vaccination clinic conducted during the first month of the CDC Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a median of 77.8 percent of residents and 37.5 percent of staff members received ≥1 vaccine dose through the program.”
“I am so extraordinarily proud of the progress our centers have made vaccinating both residents and staff,” states Dr. Richard Feifer, Chief Medical Officer of Genesis. “Our leadership team, clinicians, physicians and advanced practice providers have been working around the clock to educate patients, residents, staff and families about the importance of being vaccinated, and to answer every point of hesitancy or concern with a combination of compassion and factual information. These acceptance rates are a testament to the hard work and dedication our leadership and center staff have shown throughout this entire pandemic. We are not done yet, and continue our work to increase vaccination rates even higher.”
As of Jan.21, 2021, 100 percent of Genesis skilled nursing facilities received dose one of the vaccine, primarily utilizing CVS Health, our primary partner through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care program. Genesis facilities were among the first to begin vaccinations in nursing homes, beginning on December 17, 2020.
After the first clinic, the pharmacists return three to four weeks later to administer the second booster shots for those who received the vaccine in round one, and will also vaccinate anyone not included in round one. The pharmacists will then return for a third time, three to four weeks after round two, to administer the final booster shots. Genesis skilled nursing facilities are approximately 67% through their second clinics.
Genesis continues its robust communications and engagement initiatives to build trust among patients, residents, families and staff. Genesis has conducted ‘Ask the Doc’ sessions, social media campaigns, educational outreach, and a variety of other engagement tactics to promote vaccination. Multiple second clinics are ongoing every day and Genesis facilities are striving to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible at each clinic. The Company expects acceptance rates to continue to climb.
All drugs or vaccines have some potential side effects, and it is important to monitor for such issues even after a drug or vaccine is approved. Thus far, there have been minimal reported side effects after patients, residents and staff have received the vaccine.
As the largest nursing home operator, Genesis is participating in a newly developed safety monitoring program with Brown University School of Public Health researchers, to monitor for any potential adverse health impacts after nursing home residents in our centers receive COVID-19 vaccinations. This work is part of a CDC effort to carefully monitor vaccine safety, particularly focused on frail elderly residents who were not included in vaccine trials.