Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program for COVID-19 Vaccination

Frequently Asked Questions

The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements, to facilitate safe vaccination of this patient population, while reducing burden on long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and jurisdictional health departments. The services will be available in rural areas that may not have easily accessible pharmacies. LTCF staff who have not received COVID-19 vaccine can also be vaccinated as part of the program.

Additional information about vaccine distribution through the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccination Data Tracker.

Yes. All healthcare personnel (HCP) are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination through this program. HCP include all paid and unpaid persons working in a facility who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Additional examples of HCP can be found here.

Enrollment for the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program has closed.

LTCFs eligible to participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program included skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), nursing homes, assisted living facilities (residential LTCFs assisting and supervising primarily elderly residents in daily living activities and independent living skills), continuing care retirement communities, residential care communities/adult family homes, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities, state-run veterans’ homes, and similar congregate living settings where most individuals receiving care/supervision are older than 65 years of age.

Facilities not eligible for the program included adult day care facilities, independent living facilities, facilities exclusively for children or adolescents, psychiatric rehabilitation or behavioral treatment facilities, and drug or alcohol rehabilitation centers. Other ineligible facilities included independent low-income housing (with the exception of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, which was included), domestic violence shelters, convents, churches, schools, individual homes (for example, not a congregate living facility), correctional facilities, and home health programs.

CDC is not enrolling any additional LTCFs in the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program. However, jurisdictions have other options for ensuring LTCFs in their communities have continued access to COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about ways for long-term care facilities to continue receiving COVID-19 vaccine.

No. Facilities participating in the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program do not have to sign a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. The pharmacy provider’s staff will be responsible for administering the vaccine and signing the agreement.

However, if a facility will be involved in vaccine administration after the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program ends (for example, for staff or new residents), then a provider agreement must be signed with its jurisdiction.

LTCFs must be enrolled with their jurisdiction as a COVID-19 vaccination provider to administer any COVID-19 vaccine. To enroll as a provider, the LTCF must meet several requirements, including those for cold chain management and data reporting.

  • COVID-19 vaccines have strict cold chain requirements, with some vaccines requiring frozen storage. Additionally, each vaccine has different mixing requirements for administration and minimum interval requirements for a second dose, if indicated.
  • Reporting requirements for COVID-19 vaccination are stricter than those for seasonal influenza vaccination. COVID-19 vaccine administrators are required to enroll as a vaccination provider and report individual-level administration data to the appropriate state, territorial, local, or federal jurisdiction once the vaccine has been administered. For facilities that opted to participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program, the pharmacy partner is responsible for procuring vaccine, managing the cold chain, administering vaccine to residents and staff, and fulfilling all reporting requirements to public health authorities on behalf of the facility.

No. Facilities were not required to participate in this program. A facility could opt to have vaccine supply and management services coordinated by a pharmacy provider of its choice. If an LTCF opted out of the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program, the LTCF and the pharmacy provider of its choice are responsible for coordination of and adherence to all vaccine supply chain, storage, handling, administration, and reporting requirements, including strict cold chain and public health reporting requirements.

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. Learn more about ways for long-term care facilities to continue receiving COVID-19 vaccine.

CDC supports optimizing COVID-19 vaccine access for all LTCF residents and staff. Some jurisdictions have asked pharmacy partners not to initiate first dose vaccinations at their third clinics, due to future plans to vaccinate LTCF residents and staff using a different vaccine product. LTCFs and pharmacy partners should follow jurisdictional guidance.

LTCF staff members who receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a third clinic can contact CVS, Walgreens, or any other pharmacy locations providing the same vaccine product in their community to schedule an appointment to get their second dose. Staff can also contact their local health department for this information. This also applies to LTCF residents who are later discharged.

The LTCF’s regular long-term care pharmacy or another community pharmacy that is enrolled as a COVID-19 vaccination provider and has vaccine available may be able to administer second doses to residents on site. Or the health department may have plans in place for vaccinating the residents of LTCFs after the federal program concludes.

The program is free of charge to facilities. Participating pharmacies will bill private and public insurance for the vaccine administration fee. See additional information regarding COVID-19 vaccination costs.

To administer COVID-19 vaccine, providers are required to sign a provider agreement, which requires reporting of specific data elements once vaccine has been administered. Required elements are:

  • administered at location: facility name/ID;
  • administered at location: type;
  • administration address (including company);
  • administration date;
  • CVX (product);
  • dose number;
  • recipient ID;
  • vaccination event ID;
  • lot number: unit of use and/or unit of sale;
  • MVX (manufacturer);
  • recipient address;
  • recipient date of birth;
  • recipient name;
  • recipient sex;
  • sending organization;
  • vaccine administering provider suffix;
  • vaccine administering site (on the body);
  • vaccine expiration date;
  • vaccine route of administration; and
  • vaccine series.

Facilities in the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program should contact their pharmacy provider directly if they encounter any issues. Facilities that opted out of the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program should contact the pharmacy provider of their choice or their jurisdiction’s health department.

Not at this time. Please refer to CMSexternal icon directly for COVID-19 vaccine requirements in LTCFs.

Timing of on-site vaccination clinics for assisted living facilities (ALFs) and SNFs may differ depending on the state. Vaccination clinics at SNFs and ALFs may begin simultaneously, or states may choose to complete all SNF clinics prior to beginning ALF clinics.

Yes. Pharmacists who are vaccinating LTCF residents and staff onsite will have direct patient contact and meet the definition of facility healthcare personnel. These pharmacists can be vaccinated as part of the Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program.

Yes. The pharmacy partners who are participating in the federal Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program have the capacity to store, handle, and administer all COVID-19 vaccine products currently authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration. Jurisdictions who wish to transfer allocation of any COVID-19 vaccine product to a pharmacy partner may do so using the Pharmacy Transfer Program. They can also transfer allocation to any pharmacy partner participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Jurisdictions using the Pharmacy Transfer Program should develop a vaccination plan with the pharmacy partner in advance, before submitting an allocation transfer request to CDC.

Pharmacy partners are on track to complete all three vaccination clinics in SNFs. As of the last week of January, more than 99% percent of the 13,500 SNFs enrolled in the federal Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program have started vaccinating staff and residents against COVID-19. When complete, 87% of all the SNFs in the country will have received early and safe access to COVID-19 vaccine for their residents and staff through this program—all within 2 months of the first COVID-19 vaccine being authorized for use in the United States.

Most jurisdictions activated the federal Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program in ALFs a few weeks after activating the program in SNFs. As of the first week of February, more than 74% of the approximately 56,000 participating assisted living facilities have started vaccinating staff and residents against COVID-19. Second and third vaccination clinics for 99% of ALFs are projected to be completed by late March 2021.

For additional frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination in LTCFs, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/toolkits/long-term-care/index.html

To ensure new staff and residents have access to COVID-19 vaccine after the federal Pharmacy Partnership for LTC Program is completed, LTCFs should work with a LTC pharmacy that is enrolled as a COVID-19 vaccination provider. Some LTC pharmacies are enrolled with the federal government as COVID-19 vaccination providers through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and will be able to order vaccine directly from the federal government. Others may enroll directly with the state or territory in which they are located. Learn more about ways for long-term care facilities to continue receiving COVID-19 vaccine.

No. LTCFs and LTC pharmacy partners should offer vaccination to any resident who requests it, including those who are short-stay residents or those being discharged. Even if an LTCF or LTC pharmacy partner cannot guarantee they will be able to administer the second dose in a 2-dose vaccine series, LTCFs and LTC pharmacy partners should consider administering the first dose, if possible. LTCFs and LTC pharmacy partners are required to provide information to help discharged residents and patients with obtaining an additional dose. For instance, LTCF residents who are discharged can seek their second dose at a retail pharmacy location in the community or through their local health department.

For additional frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination in long-term care facilities, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/toolkits/long-term-care/index.html

Page last reviewed: February 19, 2021