WASHINGTON — Medicare says it will require nursing homes to report COVID-19 vaccination rates for residents and staff.
Officials hope it will be an incentive for facilities to keep giving shots even as the worst ravages of the pandemic ease.
The agency expects to start receiving vaccination numbers from nursing homes in the coming weeks and plans to post the information on the internet so residents and families can easily access the details.
People living in long-term care facilities have borne a heavy toll from the pandemic. But cases and deaths plummeted after the government launched a concerted effort to vaccinate residents and staff.
Despite a big vaccination campaign, New York nursing homes are still reporting hundreds of infections a week as some residents and staff have skipped getting the shots.
Nursing facilities reported 782 infections among staff and residents in the 14 days ending April 25. State records show that nearly five months since the vaccination campaign launched, only 55% of staff at New York’s nursing homes are fully vaccinated.
Rates among patients are better: 79% of residents have gotten a shot. But some areas lag behind. Only 40% of the staff and 63 percent of residents at nursing homes in Brooklyn are fully vaccinated.