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Income, education linked to long-term care staff vaccination rates


A study published Friday in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found a correlation between such factors as income and education and vaccination rates among long-term care staff.

COVID-19 vaccination coverage was highest among physicians  (75.1%) and lowest among aides (45.6%), the CDC found. Data showed vaccination coverage among aides was lower in facilities “located in zip code areas with higher levels of social vulnerability,” identifying social and demographic factors such as lower median income, lower education, greater ethnic diversity and higher poverty rates as playing a role in aides' vaccination rates.

The study states that residents of long-term care facilities and health care personnel who work in these facilities were prioritized for early COVID-19 vaccination and that achieving high coverage in this setting has been “critical to preventing additional outbreaks.”

The social indicator data was obtained from the 2019 American Community Survey and includes social indicators within the zip codes of the long-term care facilities, including median income and percentage of adults belonging to racial and ethnic minority groups, percentage living in poverty, and percentage without a high school diploma.

The data for vaccination rates was taken from March 1 to April 4, with a total of 1,898 long-term care facilities voluntarily reporting COVID-19 vaccination data in 47 states. Other than doctors, the long-term care groups with high percentage of health care workers vaccinated included therapists (69.2%), ancillary services employees (58.5%), and nurses (56.7%).