It turns out that vaccinated seniors can still catch COVID-19.
The whole reason why we were forced to do the lockdowns and the social distancing was to keep these old people from catching the virus. Now the vaccines are here and vaccinated people can still catch the virus.
COVID-19 vaccines have allowed nursing homes in the U.S. to make dramatic progress since the dark days of the pandemic, but senior care facilities are still experiencing scattered outbreaks that are largely blamed on unvaccinated staff members. The outbreaks and ensuing shutdowns have jolted family members who were just starting to enjoy in-person visits with loved ones for the first time in a year.
While the outbreaks inside nursing homes now are much smaller, less frequent and less severe than during the height of the pandemic, there continue to be hundreds of deaths each week attributed to the coronavirus. According to federal data, 472 nursing home deaths were related to COVID-19 in the first two weeks of May, down from 10,675 in the first two weeks of January.
“There is this notion among some that vaccines were administered in long-term care, so we’re done, and that would be a perilous mistake,” said Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer for the American Health Care Association, a national nursing home trade association, in a recent statement. “Nursing homes and assisted living communities have a constant flow of new residents, whether coming from the hospital or the community, and many of them haven’t been vaccinated yet.”
In addition, the CDC has warned that low rates of vaccination among health care workers in skilled nursing facilities raises risks of outbreaks.
A March outbreak involving a variant at a Kentucky nursing home, where most residents had been vaccinated for COVID-19, was traced to an infected, unvaccinated worker, according to a CDC report. Among the 46 cases identified, 26 residents and 20 workers became infected, including 18 residents and four workers who were fully vaccinated 14 days before the outbreak.
Three of the nursing home’s residents who contracted COVID-19 died, including two who were not vaccinated. So-called “breakthrough” infections among vaccinated individuals were also identified in nursing homes in Chicago, according to another recent CDC report.
In Connecticut, Gov, Ned Lamont has likened the challenge of keeping the virus out of nursing homes to patching up “leaky boats.” The state Department of Public Health launched Operation Matchmaker to match nursing homes with certain pharmacies to ensure new residents and staff get shots. Hospitals are also working to vaccinate patients before they’re released to a nursing facility.
Given staffing shortages around the country, there’s been a hesitance among long-term care providers to mandate vaccinations for their workers, said Dr. Vivian Leung, director of the state’s Department of Health’s Healthcare Associated Infections Program.
“We’re working with the long-term care industry to really increase the pressure on getting those staff vaccinated,” Leung said.
What this means, in practice, is that everyone must still be subjected to the mask wearing and all of the downsides of the time before the vaccines were available, while also getting injected with infinite vaccines.
Basically, you get all of the vaccines, but none of their purported benefits.
The idea is that the vaccines won’t work until everyone is vaccinated.