“I’m almost at a loss for words at how amazing it is and how exciting,” said Dr. David Gifford, the chief medical officer for the American Health Care Association, which represents thousands of long-term care facilities across the country.
“If we are seeing a robust response with this vaccine with the elderly with a highly contagious disease,” he said, “I think that’s a great sign for the rest of the population.”
Experts attribute the improvements in large part to the distribution of vaccines. About 4.5 million residents and employees in long-term care facilities have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including about 2.1 million who have been fully vaccinated.
Other factors, including the steep drop in new infections nationwide in recent weeks, may have contributed as well.
New coronavirus cases among nursing home residents in the U.S. have dropped more than 80% since vaccines became available. Deaths have decreased by more than 65%. https://t.co/MyLvAxdGFx
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 25, 2021