Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine in Long-Term Care Facilities

Long-term care facilities (LTCFs) provide a range of services, including medical and personal care, to adults who are unable to live independently. These types of facilities include, but are not limited to, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other congregate living settings where most people receiving care/supervision are older than 65 years of age. The communal nature of LTCFs and the population served (generally older adults often with underlying medical conditions) puts facility residents at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe illness from COVID-19.

The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program is facilitating on-site vaccination of residents and staff at more than 65,000 enrolled LTCFs. Pharmacy partners participating in the program are conducting three on-site vaccination clinics for every enrolled facility. Most clinics provided by this program will likely be completed by the end of March 2021. As the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC program comes to an end, it is important to ensure LTCFs have continued access to COVID-19 vaccine for new or unvaccinated residents and staff.

Ways for Long-term Care Facilities to Continue Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

LTCF administrators and clinical leadership should consider the following options when making COVID-19 vaccination plans for their facilities.

Next Steps for Long-Term Care Facilities

  1. Initiate a discussion with your existing LTC pharmacy to better understand your options. If the pharmacy is set up to receive COVID-19 vaccine through the federal government or through your state, the pharmacy can administer vaccine to your residents and staff.
  2. Find an alternate pharmacy if your existing LTC pharmacy is not a federal or state COVID-19 vaccination partner. Visit the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program website to see which pharmacies are participating. You can also contact your state health department to find additional providers in your area.
  3. Lastly, some states may enroll LTCFs and allow them to order COVID-19 vaccine directly to administer to their residents and staff. This decision is state-dependent, and facilities should work directly with their state immunization program if this option is desired.
Page last reviewed: February 19, 2021