Michigan nursing homes required to offer COVID-19 booster shots on-site

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Michigan's state health department is requiring nursing homes to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots to residents.

The order, issued on Thursday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), says nursing homes must begin offering the shots within 30 days.

It does not require nursing home residents to be vaccinated but orders nursing homes to document whether each resident offered a vaccine accepted or refused their dose. Should a resident be unable to make their own medical decisions, nursing home staff must contact the person legally responsible for their care and make them aware of the option to receive the shot on-site, MDHHS said.

"With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across our state and cases of COVID-19 continuing to remain high, we want to make sure our most vulnerable Michiganders are protected from the virus," Elizabeth Hertel, the MDHHS director, said in a statement.

"The COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against the virus, and we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to get up to date," she added.

The statement noted all of Michigan's nursing homes have already offered first and second dose shots, and 74 percent of eligible nursing home residents in the state have been boosted.

Michigan has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant. In the past five days, the state has reported more than 86,000 COVID-19 cases with an average of about 17,202 new cases each day, according to data from the government.

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