COVID-19 Vaccines for Long-term Care Residents
What You Need to Know
- CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group:
- People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying.
- Updated (bivalent) boosters are the best protection from current COVID-19 variants.
If you live or work in a Long-term Care (LTC) setting, you can help protect yourself and the people around you by staying up to date with a your COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters as soon as possible.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective—especially against becoming seriously ill, being hospitalized and dying—and very important for older adults.
- Older adults and people with certain health conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
- COVID-19 vaccines can help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do get COVID-19.
- Use the COVID-19 booster tool to learn when you can get an updated (bivalent) booster to stay up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccines.
Residents and their families can ask a LTC provider about the current COVID-19 vaccination rate among their staff and residents.
- Nursing homes are required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to monitor weekly COVID-19 vaccination data for residents and healthcare personnel through CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network. CMS posts updated information about individual nursing homes, including resident and staff vaccination rates, on the CMS COVID-19 Nursing Home Data.
- Resident and staff vaccination data from assisted living and other LTC settings may be monitored by your state.
If your loved one is not able to ask questions or otherwise communicate with the LTC staff, here’s what to know about consent for getting a COVID-19 vaccine:
- Consent or assent for a COVID-19 vaccine is given by LTC residents (or people appointed to make medical decisions on their behalf called a medical proxy) and documented in their charts per the provider’s standard practice.
- Residents who receive a COVID-19 vaccine (or their medical proxy) also receive a fact sheet before vaccination. The 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 getting vaccinated. This is at the provider’s discretion; written consent is not required by federal law for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States (U.S.).
- Residents (or their medical proxies) get a vaccination card or printout that tells them which COVID-19 vaccine they received and the date they received it. If their vaccine card is full, the vaccine provider can give them another card. This should also be recorded in their medical chart.
COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge to all people living in the U.S., regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
Take these steps to get a COVID-19 vaccine for you or your family member:
- Talk with the LTC staff about getting vaccinated on site.
- Ask a family member or friend to help you schedule a vaccination appointment if you can’t get vaccinated on site. Visit vaccines.gov to find providers near you.
- If you have additional questions about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine, talk with your healthcare provider.
To find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you: Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.