The start of vaccinations in nursing homes across the United States has begun. The residents of nursing homes are now eligible to get vaccinated along with the staff of nursing homes. While this seems like a big stepping stone in the fight against Coronoavirus, this does not mean that guidelines for visitation will begin to lift. While family members are getting hopeful that they will soon be allowed to visit loved ones in nursing homes, the truth is a vaccine may not be enough to loosen restrictions, at least for right now. In a recent article by The New York Times, it states that nursing home restrictions will "vary by state and the federal government's guidance on what it considers safe stands for now".
The restrictions in most states are strict and allow outdoor visits only and indoor visits only if the facility has been free of COVID-19 cases for 14 days. While this may seem like tough guidelines, many medical experts are stressing even more rigid rules, and some even stress the importance of banning visitations all together.
The vaccine may change some of these opinions though, but will still call for strict guidelines. It is believed most nursing homes will require vaccination of thier staff and residents (unless for medical or religious beliefs) and visitors must provide a negative test for COVID-19 before being allowed into the facility. Even after vaccination, everyone will still be required to wear a mask as of now as well.
While the vaccine is still new, it has been tested on over 65 people of different ages. It has come back as safe for both old and young ages, making it okay for residents of nursing homes to receive. Since the vaccine requires two injections, it has been stated by medical professionals that visits should not be allowed until two weeks after the second dose.
Of course, all these guidelines vary by state and by facility.
To have more of your questions answered about nursing home visitations and the COVID-19 vaccine, visit this article written by The New York Times or contact your local nursing home for more details.
In the meantime, be safe and stay healthy!