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Few SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections Reported at SNFs

FRIDAY, April 23, 2021 -- Few cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have been reported at skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) among those with at least 14 days since receipt of the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, according to research published in the April 21 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that in February 2021, the Chicago Department of Public Health identified a SARS-CoV-2 infection in an SNF resident >14 days after receipt of the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination series through routine screening, Richard A. Teran, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined SARS-CoV-2 cases, vaccination status, and possible vaccine breakthrough infections in facility reports.

The researchers found that among 627 persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection across 75 SNFs since vaccination clinics began, there were 22 SARS-CoV-2 infections in residents and staff members (12 and 10, respectively) at 15 facilities ≥14 days after receipt of a second dose. Fourteen (64 percent) of those with breakthrough infections were asymptomatic, while two residents were hospitalized due to COVID-19 and one died. There were no facility-associated secondary transmissions observed.

"Maintaining high vaccination coverage among residents and staff members is also important to reduce opportunities for transmission within facilities and exposure among persons who might not have achieved protective immunity after vaccination," the authors write.

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