OHA tracking COVID vaccines in care facilities amid ‘woefully low’ rates

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon Health Authority created a new dashboard to track COVID-19 vaccines in long-term care facilities, a move the agency says will increase uptake in vaccines among high-risk older adults.

The Long-term Care Facilities COVID-19 Vaccination Data dashboard, which launched Tuesday, will track up-to-date vaccines for residents and staff in assisted living, nursing, and residential care facilities on a monthly basis. The dashboard also breaks down data by county and facility type.

OHA defines “up to date” as having received the 2023-2024 COVID vaccine that rolled out in September, noting that definition will be updated as needed per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

Among the state’s 528 long-term care facilities reporting their data, OHA says 6% of facility staff and 11% of facility residents are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines from Oct. 2-8.

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Dr. Dat Tran, medical director for OHA’s Healthcare-Associated Infections program, said the “woefully low” vaccine rates could be from facilities not yet having vaccine clinics along with the vaccine’s limited availability.

Officials point out that Oregon’s up-to-date vaccine rate from Oct. 2-8 are higher than the national average of 1% of staff and 9% of residents, according to the CDC.

Out of the 528 total facilities in Oregon, 403 — or 76% — reported zero staff and residents were up to date.

“This data collection is a natural extension of our program’s work to track vaccinations and support infection control in these settings,” Tran said. “Nursing, assisted-living and residential care facilities are still experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19, and many of their residents are at high risk for serious illness from the virus. Vaccination remains our No. 1 tool for reducing infection risk for vulnerable persons.”

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