State officials recently released a new website showing the percentage of residents and staffers who are vaccinated at Medicare and Medicaid-certified long-term care facilities in Illinois.
But the vaccination numbers of some Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities are missing and what data exists show that vaccination rates among staffers at Oak Park facilities vary widely — from a low of 26% of staffers at one facility to a high of 85% at another.
Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which administers the online database and is one of several agencies responsible for regulating long-term care facilities in the state, let the public know about the COVID-19 database on Aug. 4.
As of Aug. 9, the most current data was available through July 25, IDPH officials said.
Oak Park has five long-term care facilities that are regulated by IDPH. These facilities are required to report vaccinations of residents and staff to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is where the IDPH data comes from.
Among the five local facilities, data for Belmont Village Oak Park, 1035 Madison St., and Rush Oak Park Hospital, 520 S. Maple Ave., is missing from the database.
Meanwhile, the vaccination rate among the three Oak Park facilities that did have information in the database was highest at West Suburban Medical Center, located at 2 Erie Court, where 100% of residents were vaccinated and 85% of staff were vaccinated, according to the IDPH database.
According to information contained in a state report on regulated long-term care facilities found on the IDPH website, West Suburban has 50 long-term care beds.
The staff vaccination rate at the 72-bed Berkeley Nursing and Rehab Center, 6909 W. North Ave., was 53% while the resident vaccination rate was 69%.
At the 204-bed Oak Park Oasis, 625 N. Harlem Ave., 94% of residents were vaccinated while only 26% of staffers were vaccinated.
The local disparity between resident vaccinations and staff vaccinations reflects a national pattern. According to data available through the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network Long Term Care Facility COVID-19 Module, 82% of residents in regulated long-term care facilities in the United States are vaccinated while 60% of staffers in those facilities are vaccinated.
A CMS spokesperson had not responded by Tuesday morning to questions about why some facilities’ vaccine data was missing from the site. Attempts on Monday to reach representatives with Belmont Village and Rush Oak Park were unsuccessful.
The new IDPH data website features an interactive map where users can view staff and resident vaccination percentages. They can also view weekly confirmed cases, total confirmed cases and weekly COVID-19 deaths on the site, among other features.
“To help keep long-term care residents as safe and healthy as possible, we want to make sure residents and their loved ones know the vaccination rates where they reside so they can make the best decision on where to live, and also advocate for increased vaccination rates,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
“Some of our most vulnerable residents live in long-term care facilities and in order to better protect them, COVID-19 vaccination rates in many facilities, especially among staff, need to increase,” she added.
“The vaccine is the primary way to get to the other side of this pandemic. We need to continue to reduce spread of the virus by wearing a mask and getting as many residents and staff vaccinated as soon as possible.”