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CDC Issues Reports on Effectiveness of Bivalent Booster in Nursing Home Residents

On Jan. 27, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) regarding a study conducted on SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses to the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain and Omicron BA.1 and BA.4/BA.5 variants in Ohio and Rhode Island nursing home residents after receipt of the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine from September to November 2022.

According to the study, previous COVID-19 monovalent vaccines provided substantial reductions in COVID-19-associated morbidity and mortality among nursing home residents; however, only one-half of these residents and one-quarter of nursing home staff members have received the COVID-19 bivalent booster dose to date.

Among nursing home residents in the two states, SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels waned within months after vaccination, irrespective of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, after monovalent booster vaccination. Antibody response broadened after the COVID-19 bivalent booster for vaccinated nursing home residents among those with and without previous infection.

A second MMWR was also released on Jan. 27, 2023, regarding laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case incidence rates among U.S. nursing home residents by up-to-date vaccination status from Oct. 10, 2022 to Jan. 8, 2023.

According to this study, COVID-19 vaccines are effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection in nursing home residents; however, the impact of recently recommended vaccinations, including bivalent booster doses, in this population is unknown.

Nursing home residents who were not up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines had a 30 to 50 percent higher risk for acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with residents who were up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

This study supports other recent findings that the bivalent booster dose offers additional protection in individuals who previously received monovalent vaccines. Nursing home residents can maximize protection against COVID-19 by receiving bivalent COVID-19 booster doses to stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations.

Contact: Amy Nelson, anelson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 146