Number of fully vaccinated long-term care residents, staff unknown

Florida is not keeping track of the number of nursing home staff and residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The state requires nursing facilities to report to the state Emergency Status System the number of residents and staff who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 

The facilities also must report the number of residents and staff who have not been vaccinated. But nursing homes are not required to report to the state the number of residents and staff who have completed the recommended dosage to be considered fully vaccinated. 

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reports that, as of May 26, more than 93 percent of the state’s 74,818 assisted-living facility residents have received one COVID-19 vaccination, as have about 73 percent of Florida’s 65,278 nursing home residents. Meanwhile, nearly 44 percent of 70,051 assisted-living facility employees have received one vaccination as of May 26, compared to about 41 percent of 101,703 nursing home workers. 

For the last year, AARP has tracked the number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes nationwide. The organization’s latest nursing home report, issued earlier this month, showed that Florida was trending higher than the national average for newly reported cases of COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, a March report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that partial vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 63 percent effective in preventing new infections in residents at two nursing facilities, which is similar to first-dose effectiveness estimates in the broader adult population in non-congregate settings. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses.