News Release

Nursing Home Deaths Remain High


Nursing home deaths have remained high while older Americans’ rates of receiving Covid boosters have been lower than expected. Public health experts and mainstream media have failed to explain the phenomenon. 

    Nuzzo is a professor of epidemiology and the director of the Pandemic Center at Brown University School of Public Health.

Nuzzo told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “Age has always been the biggest risk factor for severe illness and death [from Covid].” Accordingly, at the start of the vaccine rollout, older Americans were prioritized for vaccination. But the “interesting, puzzling, vexing thing is that although seniors were among the first to get vaccinated and had high rates of uptake compared to other age groups,” their rates of boosting are still quite low. This is not a population, Nuzzo added, that needs to be convinced or argued with. “It’s not [vaccine] hesitancy.”

The death numbers “aren’t where they were,” Nuzzo said, “but they’re still at about 300 people a day. That’s too much, and we need to figure out why that is.” Media and public health experts have not yet been able to explain why “booster uptake has been so terrible.” Nuzzo would “love to hear from people… We need a better sense of the barriers, so we can fix them.”