Over 40% of nursing home staffs in Brazos County remain unvaccinated

“Every life is an important life and if you can prevent death and illness from happening, you should take action.”
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) -Nationwide nursing home vaccination rates show a gap between vaccinated residents and non-vaccinated staff. Statistics released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show nationwide 81.8 percent of nursing home residents have taken the COVID-19 vaccine compared to 59.3 percent of nursing home staff.

The gap between unvaccinated nursing home workers is slightly lower for the state of Texas. 76.37 percent of residents in Texas nursing homes have been vaccinated compared to 55.82 percent of nursing home staff. The gap in Brazos County is slightly lower than the state average but is still concerning.

Statistics show 75.97 percent of Brazos County nursing home residents have been vaccinated compared to 58.14 percent of nursing home staff. A 17.83 percent gap.

Vaccinated Nursing Home ResidentsVaccinated Nursing Home Staff
USA 81.8 %USA 59.3 %
Texas 76.37 %Texas 55.82 %
Brazos County 75.97 %Brazos County 58.14 %

“The issue is at the very beginning of COVID the hotspots were in nursing homes. The good news is that most nursing home residents, about 80% have been vaccinated,” said Dr. Marcia Ory, Founding Director for the Texas A&M Center for Population Health & Aging. “The bad news is the people who work with them on a daily basis are less likely to be vaccinated.

Ory says the data is concerning. She says a shortage of healthcare workers combined with unvaccinated healthcare workers could have a ripple effect on an already strained healthcare system.

“With this new Delta variant that’s coming in the Brazos Valley, that’s coming in Texas. It’s overwhelming the healthcare system. It’s overwhelming our hospitals,” said Ory. “There’s going to be fewer people to care for those for older adults in nursing homes. So I think the situation is dramatic.”

“The effect of not being vaccinated is the potential of widespread outbreaks in nursing homes. Having less staff to care for the residents in the nursing homes and having the nursing homes potentially get locked down again,” said Ory. " We saw all the unintended consequences of having residents without their loved ones, being able to visit residents, residents being isolated in their rooms. All the negative impacts could be avoided at this point in time because we do have a vaccine.”

Ory says more education is needed to address vaccine hesitancy.

“People who know about health still hold separate ideas. There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet about all the negative aspects of vaccines. Most of those have been proven untrue. So the idea that vaccinations are more harmful than getting COVID that’s absolutely in most cases not true,” said Ory. “I would reiterate how important being vaccinated is. If you have a preventive tool and solution that can prevent deaths, disability, and illness that should be used and that science should be trusted about the benefits of vaccination for both residents and nursing home staff.”

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid COVID-19 Nursing Home Data

Brazos County facilitiesPercentage of vaccinated residentsPercentage of vaccinated staff
St. Joseph Manor85.46 %77.12 %
Lampstand Nursing and Rehabilitation78.26 %63.96 %
Crestview Nursing and Rehabilitation83.36 %65.04 %
Legacy Nursing Home57.65 %47.12 %
Fortress Nursing and Rehabilitation72.13 %37.50 %

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