Public health officials in Chicago and Kentucky have identified dozens of residents and staffers at skilled nursing facilities who tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after they were fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The information came in a pair of CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports issued Wednesday.
According to one report, the Chicago Department of Public Health — through routine screening in February — identified one nursing facility resident who became infected more than 14 days after receiving the second dose.
Then more cases came to light.
“Among 627 persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection across 75 SNFs [skilled nursing facilities] since vaccination clinics began, 22 SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified among 12 residents and 10 staff members across 15 facilities” more than two weeks “after receiving their second vaccine dose,” the report said.
And, the CDC said, no “facility-associated secondary transmission” was identified among the cases. The document said 14 of the 22 people were asymptomatic, two residents were hospitalized, and one died.
But the CDC also stressed that nursing home residents and employees are “recommended” to get vaccinated as a priority group.
Nursing homes, the report said, “should prioritize vaccination and follow recommended COVID-19 infection prevention and control practices, including following work restrictions, isolation, quarantine, testing of residents and staff members, and use of personal protective equipment.”
In a separate report issued Wednesday, the CDC said 18 fully vaccinated residents and four vaccinated staffers at a Kentucky nursing home became infected with COVID-19 during an outbreak at the facility earlier this year.
The CDC said that during the outbreak, which involved a newly introduced virus variant in the region, “unvaccinated residents and health care personnel (HCP) had 3.0 and 4.1 times the risk of infection as did vaccinated residents and HCP.”
The vaccine, the report said, was 86 percent protective against “symptomatic illness among residents,” and 87 percent effective among staff.
“Vaccination of SNF residents and HCP is essential to reduce the risk for symptomatic COVID-19, as is continued focus on infection prevention and control practices,” the CDC said.