COVID-19 Vaccine Access in Long-term Care Settings

CDC now recommends that people aged 65 years and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. Other groups may receive a booster shot based on their individual risk and benefit. Read CDC’s media statement.

Illustration of health care providers wearing masks

The federal government is committed to ensuring that residents and staff in long-term care (LTC) settings, such as nursing homes, assisted living, residential care communities, group homes and senior housing, have access to COVID-19 vaccines to receive primary series and booster doses (if approved by the US Food and Drug Administration [FDA] and recommended by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP]).

The goal is to continue to protect those who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19—especially residents of LTC settings. All LTC settings that request assistance in accessing COVID-19 vaccines for their residents and staff will receive the support they need.

Many LTC providers have already identified strategies and partnerships to obtain and administer COVID-19 vaccines for residents and staff. These include:

Long-term care providers are encouraged to consider the option that works best for their residents and staff when coordinating access to COVID-19 vaccines, either in the local community or on-site. Additional details on these options are available on the pages linked below.

Additional Information: COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people aged 12 years and older in the United States for the prevention of COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines currently approved or authorized by FDA are highly effective in preventing serious outcomes of COVID-19, including severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Efforts to maximize the proportion of people in the United States who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 remain critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses. If the FDA authorizes and ACIP recommends a booster dose, people who were first to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when they became available in early 2021 (e.g., those who are most at risk) are likely to be the first people eligible for a booster dose. This includes healthcare providers, LTC residents, and other older adults. For more information, visit COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot.

COVID-19 vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, as well as coadministration within 14 days. See Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC.

Page last reviewed: September 21, 2021