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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Only about 14% of the roughly 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed to nursing home residents and staff have been administered, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The slower-than-ideal rollout illustrates the complexity of vaccinating what should be one of the easiest populations to reach — and one that remains extremely vulnerable to the virus.

The state of play: The federal government has partnered with CVS and Walgreens to administer vaccines to the vast majority of long-term care facilities.

  • CVS — which expects to vaccinate up to 4 million residents and staff at more than 40,000 facilities — began administering shots in 12 states the week of Dec. 21, and in another 36 states plus Washington, D.C. last week.
  • A CVS spokespesman said the rollout is going largely according to plan: "We’ve encountered no delays, save for some difficulties in getting confirmation from facilities on clinic dates and requests to avoid vaccinating on or around the holidays."
  • And some states began vaccinations in a specific subset of long-term care facilities, the spokesman added.

The other side: West Virginia opted out of the federal program, and Gov. Jim Justice said last week that every long-term care facility in the state now has doses in hand.

  • "West Virginia is a smaller state, but this still speaks to the delays with the federal model when they are wrapping up the first round and many long-term care facilities in other states have yet to be even offered the vaccination," said David Grabowski, a health policy professor at Harvard.

Between the lines: Vaccine hesitancy is a problem, especially among staff.

  • Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said about 60% of the state's nursing home staffers who were offered the vaccine declined it, while 85% of nursing home residents have opted in.
  • Getting consent from residents "has also slowed things down," Grabowski said.

The bottom line: Every day nursing home residents remain unvaccinated is another day they're at risk of catching the virus that is circulating prolifically around the country.

Go deeper

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.