COVID-19 Vaccines for Long-Term Care Facility Residents
Residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) ages 12 and older are recommended to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Many LTCFs have a population of older adults with underlying medical conditions living closely together in residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities. These medical conditions and living situations put residents at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.
Children and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in any type of congregate setting — including institutions and group homes — are considered LTCF residents. This means they are also at an increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.
Information About COVID-19 Vaccines for LTCF Residents and Family Members
You can help protect yourself and the people around you by getting a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and especially important for older adults and people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity.
- People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 and need protection provided by vaccination.
- You can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccines.
- Depending on the kind of COVID-19 vaccine you get, you might need a second shot 3 or 4 weeks after your first shot.
- COVID-19 vaccines can help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
If your loved one is not able to ask questions or otherwise communicate with LTCF staff, here’s what to know about consent or assent for getting a COVID-19 vaccine:
- Consent or assent for COVID-19 vaccination will be obtained from LTCF residents (or people appointed to make medical decisions on their behalf) and documented in their charts per the facility’s standard practice.
- Residents who receive a COVID-19 vaccine (or their medical proxies) will also receive an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Fact Sheet before vaccination. The EUA Fact Sheet explains the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Some COVID-19 vaccination providers may require written, email, or verbal consent from recipients before vaccination. This is at their discretion; written consent is not required by federal law for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States.
- Residents (or their medical proxies) will receive a vaccination record card or printout that tells them which COVID-19 vaccine they received and the date they received it. This should also be recorded in their medical chart.
The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
Tips for How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
If you have not already been vaccinated against COVID-19, you or your family member can:
- Talk with the LTCF staff to determine if a vaccine can be made available to you on site.
- Ask a family member or friend to help you schedule a vaccination appointment if a vaccine is not available on site. Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination providers near you.
Find a COVID-19 Vaccine: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
After getting vaccinated, some people have side effects.
Common side effects include:
- Pain, redness, or swelling where you get your shot
- Muscle pain
These are normal signs that your body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about possible side effects and what to expect after getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
CDC has information that LTCFs can use to evaluate and manage residents’ signs and symptoms after vaccination.
After vaccination, everyone should continue to follow guidance to protect themselves and others.
For your safety and the safety of those around you, LTCFs may recommend fully vaccinated residents continue to take precautions such as wearing a mask or getting tested for COVID-19.
Family members should follow facility guidance on visitation and infection control and wash their hands often.