CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Position on Citizenship and Residency
Ensuring that all persons in the United States can receive the COVID-19 vaccine helps fulfill the public health goal of achieving herd immunity which would decrease the potential that any individual who cannot receive the vaccine or for whom the vaccine is ineffective will get COVID-19. In furtherance of that public health goal, CDC does not require United States citizenship for individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This aligns with other CDC vaccine programs, including Vaccines for Children and our discretionary immunization programs. Since COVID-19 immunization is a CDC-administered program with vaccine being provided by the federal government, jurisdictions cannot add United States citizenship requirements or require United States citizenship verification as a condition for vaccination.
CDC’s policy and goals are to ensure that everyone can receive vaccine without barriers, to the greatest extent possible. In previous guidance to states on COVID-19 vaccine implementation, CDC stated that vaccine must be distributed without discrimination within a prioritized group. An exception is allowed for limitations based solely on public-health grounds.
CDC COVID-19 Funding Award Language
CDC included specific language in a term and condition in the Notice of Award for COVID-19 Funding issued in Cooperative Agreement IP10-1901 on 1/15/2021: “To achieve the public health objectives of ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of all Americans, Recipient must distribute or administer vaccine without discriminating on non-public-health grounds within a prioritized group.”
Based on the above language, when there were limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccine available, CDC allowed states to limit COVID-19 vaccination to residents and others temporarily living in the state to assure that all such individuals would have the opportunity for timely vaccination.
Now that COVID-19 vaccine supply availability has increased, there is no longer a public health rationale for excluding individuals who are not residents of a state or locality from being vaccinated in another state or locality. Therefore, residents and others who live in any state or locality should be allowed to get vaccinated in any state. With open eligibility, proof of state residency or other state residency documentation should no longer be required to receive COVID-19 vaccine. Encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible will help in achieving the public health goal of herd immunity.