U.S. Nursing Homes See Covid-19 Cases Fall As Vaccines Roll Out

February 5, 2021

Covid-19 cases in U.S. nursing homes continue to decline, new federal data show, a fresh sign that vaccinating vulnerable residents is starting to help.

There were 15,154 new cases reported among nursing-home residents in the week ending Jan. 24, according to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That is a steep drop from the previous week and the fifth week in a row nursing homes have reported lower new-case counts.

Case trends in nursing homes tend to mirror the broader community, waxing and waning alongside larger outbreaks, making the effects of resident inoculations hard to discern. But a new analysis from the research division of the American Health Care Association, a long-term-care industry group, also found some signs that vaccines are making a difference.

Looking at 797 nursing homes that conducted their first vaccine clinics between Dec. 18 and Dec. 27, the analysis found a 48% drop in new resident cases three weeks later. Meantime, there was a 21% decline over the same period in about 1,700 homes in the same counties that hadn’t yet started vaccinating.

This “suggests that spread may be decreased starting three weeks after receiving the first dose of the vaccine,” though more work is needed to confirm the findings, the report said.

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal.