Week 49 Newsletter

03/09-03/15 Updates

Vaccine Information

Some states are utilizing the Medicaid program to aid in vaccine distribution, to help with outreach, technical assistance for providers, planning between agencies, and more.

 After health centers were examined for equitability in access to COVID-19 vaccines, findings show more than half of their vaccination patients being people of color.

School nurses have played important roles in mass vaccination in the past, and are seeking to use this experience to help meet the current needs of the pandemic.

Regulatory flexibility has enabled some providers to vaccinate patients while regulatory barriers are preventing others from doing so.

Vaccine Information

(03/12/21) A Look at How Medicaid Agencies Are Assisting With the COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out
Medicaid has largely contributed to COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts. A collaborative study from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Management Associates found that several state Medicaid programs have participated in at least one vaccine roll-out activity. Medicaid’s response efforts included outreach, technical assistance for providers, planning and implementation with public health agencies.

(03/10/21) Are Health Centers Facilitating Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations?
This issue brief from Kaiser Family Foundation focuses on the equitability of access to COVID-19 vaccines for health centers throughout the United States. The data for this brief comes from a weekly federal survey of health centers and found that more than half of patients who receive vaccination at health centers are people of color.

(03/10/21) ‘A Wild Year’: School Nurses Greatly Expand Role With COVID-19 Vaccinations
This article from STAT looks back at what the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for the role of school nurses. School nurses have filled rolls at contact tracers and symptom screeners, as well as current plans to aid in mass vaccination.]

(03/09/21) Barriers Keep Many Primary Care Practices From Vaccinating Seniors
This article from STAT News highlights the challenges and barriers that primary care providers are facing during their efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations to seniors. Some of the challenges include coordinating pre-vaccination and post-vaccination care, high administration costs, and scheduling.

(03/08/21) Now Approved to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine, NC Dentists Eager to Help Fight Pandemic
The North Carolina Dentist Board has approved dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines in state. Dentists can now be more central to the fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Maintaining the Educational-Pipeline

Nursing students who have missed out on traditional clinical experiences due to the pandemic are gaining experience participating in mass vaccination efforts.

 An article discusses the challenges medical students have experienced in the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways their education programs have adapted to meet these challenges.

Maintaining the Educational Pipeline

(03/09/21) Nursing Students Are Mass Vaccinating Atlanta
Georgia State University is using its nursing program to help with mass vaccination in Atlanta. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited many nursing students in how they can acquire their clinical hours, and mass vaccinating is a valuable way to gain training opportunities lost.

(03/08/21) The Transformational Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Education
Students have played a critical role in increasing workforce surge capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article highlights the challenges that students have faced while contributing to the frontlines and the resulting transformation of medical education. 

Long-term Care

Nursing home resident deaths from COVID-19 have declined significantly; better management by staff and increased use of personal protective equipment are contributing to the improvement.

As staff at long-term care facilities are experiencing lower vaccination rates than desired, an ethical and legal debate is occurring over potential vaccine mandates.

Long-term Care

(03/11/21) COVID-19 Mortality Rates Among Nursing Home Residents Declined From March to November 20
Health Affairs analysis finds that COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents declined by approximately 9.7% from March 2020 to November 2020. The reasons for a reduction in the mortality rates among this group are unclear, however, the study speculates that the increased use of PPE and improved clinical management may have contributed to this trend.

(03/08/21) Long-term Care Providers, Experts Debate Legality of Vaccine Mandates
Ethical and legal concerns are at the forefront of a debate to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees of long-term care facilities. Some experts believe that a federal mandate is necessary for the protection of facility residents. Atria Senior Living Facility and Juniper Communities have already taken the initiative to mandate vaccinations for their staff. Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association, hopes that increased vaccination rates among long-term care staff will eradicate the need to mandate COVID-19 vaccination. 

Health Workforce Safety

A new study finds health care workers are more likely to encounter COVID-19 infection in their communities than in the workplace.

 A recent study finds pandemic-related stress and extended work hours have contributed to depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues among health care providers.

Health Workforce Safety

(03/11/21) Healthcare Workers More Likely to Get COVID-19 Antibodies in Community Than on Job, Study Suggests
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights a study published on the JAMA Network Open that assessed seropositivity among health care workers. The study suggests that health care workers were more likely to test positive for COVID-19 antibodies due to community exposure rather than exposure in the workplace.

(03/11/21) Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
A new study published in PLOS One finds that the long hours and stress from the pandemic have led to significant levels of depression and anxiety relating to COVID-19. This study was global in its reach and analyzed 65 studies from across the world for trends in health care worker mental health.

State Workforce Strategies

A new research brief analyzes how states responded to meet workforce needs in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Workforce Strategies

(03/15/21) State Responses to Address Workforce Needs in the Initial Wave of the Pandemic
This research brief summarizes findings on how states prepared for and responded to the pandemic. Themes include regulatory flexibility, surge capacity for acute care services, and impacts on both ambulatory care services and the health professions educational pipeline.