Effective influenza vaccines in U.S. nursing homes save about 2,560 lives and prevent more than 3,200 hospitalizations annually, according to researchers who studied more than 1 million Medicare fee-for-service, long-stay nursing home residents between 2000 and 2009.
The overall proportion of Americans age 65 and older who have ever been vaccinated against pneumonia, a leading killer of seniors, increased from 53% to 60% between 2000 and 2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Each year, there are approximately 40,000 deaths from influenza, mostly in the elderly. While vaccination is the main way to prevent cases and reduce complications, only 36% of adults 65 and older get a flu shot each year.
In 2010, there were 246 nursing homes accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), representing just 2% of all homes. CARF also accredits medical rehabilitation programs and dementia and stroke care specialty programs...