My work has brought me back to the great state of Michigan for my fourth visit in six months. This time, I am leaving not with the heavy heart I usually leave with because of how badly the nursing homes are suffering, but rather with a glimpse of hope. I went into five nursing homes this week and not one of them had COVID-19 in the building. Most have been COVID-free for several weeks now. One nursing home has even resumed indoor dining for any COVID recovered residents. This brings me hope of some sense of normalcy.
When I read an article in USA Today about the low percentage of nursing home workers accepting the vaccine I was dismayed. The good news is that of the 11,000 facilities the CDC examined data for, 78% of residents have received at least one shot. And hesitancy among staff may be waning, and Walgreens President John Standley said in a statement, “While vaccine hesitancy has been a challenge at some of these facilities, our pharmacists have played a critical role in providing education and information to help residents and staff understand the important role these vaccines will play in helping the nation emerge from this pandemic.”
While I reserve my voice to speak up for the support facilities need and help them through any challenges they may face, and not to speak to the efficacy of vaccines, I will include this article from Mayo Clinic about vaccination myths and facts.
The thing that my Michigan facilities have in common is that they have all completed their first round of vaccinations. Are we starting to really see the beginning of the end for COVID-19 in our nursing homes? Let us hope this week’s experience is a true reflection of what is to come. Thank you to all our healthcare worker superheroes out there.
Be safe and be well.