AARP: Hawaii ranks first in nation for nursing home staff vaccinations


(Courtesy AARP Hawaii)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — New data on nursing home vaccination rates shows that nearly 84% of staff and about 86% of residents have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Hawaii. According to AARP, that’s the highest percentage in the nation for staff vaccinations.

Nationally, 56.7% of health care workers in nursing homes were fully vaccinated and about 78% of residents were fully vaccinated in the U.S. as of June 20. Also at the national level, COVID-19 cases and deaths have dropped significantly from previous releases, while there have been zero deaths of nursing home residents in Hawaii.

Although vaccination rates have been high in Hawaii, there have been chronic problems revealed during the pandemic that continue. According to AARP, recent data shows that 24% of nursing homes in the state have reported a shortage of nurses or aides, and about 2.4% of nursing homes reported urgent need for personal protective equipment last month, which is below the national average of 5%.

“Hawaii’s nursing homes have done a good job in keeping cases and deaths low and should be justifiably proud of the high vaccination rate among staff and residents,” Keali`i Lopez, AARP Hawaii State Director, said in a statement. “But the potential for the highly contagious Delta variant causing more harm to residents and staff is very real. We must do everything we can to keep them safe from the virus, which requires continued efforts to vaccinate staff and residents and continued vigilance.”

AARP recently submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services advising the federal government to work with states and long-term care facilities to ensure that facilities can access and administer vaccines on a continuing basis.

The data in this story can be found on the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard, which analyzes federally reported data in four-week periods dating back to June 1, 2020. For more information on how COVID-19 is impacting nursing homes, click here.

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