Long-term Care Administrators and Managers: Options for Coordinating Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccine Access in Long-term Care Settings

Long-term care (LTC) providersexternal icon are encouraged to consider the option that works best for their residents and staff when coordinating access to COVID-19 vaccines ― for both the COVID-19 primary series and booster shots.

On this page, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information and resources to help you when coordinating access to COVID-19 vaccines on-site or in the local community.

Options for Coordinating Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccination in the Local Community

illustration of seniors in a pharmacy

Let your residents and staff know that they can receive a COVID-19 vaccine at an existing vaccination site such as, a nearby pharmacy or healthcare provider’s office.

  • For residents and staff who are willing and able to travel to a vaccination site, this may be the fastest way to get vaccinated. Residents and staff should follow safety precautions when in the community. See How to Protect Yourself & Others for more information.
  • LTC residents and staff should bring their vaccination cards with them to their booster or additional dose appointments. See Vaccination Card and Booster Shots for more information.
  • If your residents attend a day program, visit a senior center, or participate in a congregate nutrition program, check and see if those programs are offering on-site vaccinations.
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If a facility does not already provide transportation, LTC administrators and managers should consider arranging transportation from your facility.

  • LTC administrators and managers may visit https://eldercare.acl.gov/external icon or call 1-800-677-1116 for more information on transportation for older adults and people with disabilities. CDC does not endorse a particular service provider and cannot verify the quality and scope of services offered.
  • LTC administrators and managers may also contact the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL), set up to help people with disabilities get vaccinated, at 1-888-677-1199 or DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.
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LTC staff may need to use time off to access COVID-19 vaccines and some employers are eligible for tax credits for granting that time.

Vaccination On-Site

For some residents and staff, receiving vaccinations on-site may be the best option. Arrange for residents and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine through a vaccination provider that you coordinate with and host at your facility.

  • Timing and availability of on-site clinics will likely vary based on pharmacy and state resources, as well as when the majority of your residents received their last dose.
  • Contact your long-term care pharmacy, local retail pharmacy, or other vaccine provider to arrange for an on-site vaccination clinic.
  • You may request vaccination support from a pharmacy partner enrolled in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. See Connecting Long-Term Care Settings with Federal Pharmacy Partners for links and contact information.

Additional Support for LTC Settings

  • If you are having difficulties arranging COVID-19 vaccination for your residents and staff, contact your state or local health department’s immunization program pdf icon[3 pages]external icon for assistance.
  • If the state or jurisdictional immunization program is unable to connect your LTC setting with a vaccine provider, CDC is available as a safety net support.
    • Contact CDC INFO at 800-232-4636 for additional support.
  • If you are a Medicaid-funded setting, your state Medicaid program may have plans to support vaccination of LTC residents and staff. Contact your state Medicaid program to learn more.

FAQs: COVID-19 Vaccine Access in Long-term Care Settings

If a long-term care (LTC) setting requests an on-site vaccination clinic for COVID-19 vaccine primary series or booster shots, how long can LTC providers expect the process to take?

  • The federal government is committed to ensuring that residents and staff in LTC settings have access to COVID-19 vaccines to receive primary series and booster shots. LTC providers will coordinate directly with a pharmacy partner or local vaccination site to arrange a convenient time for residents and staff to receive vaccines. When planning, LTC providers should take into consideration when residents and staff completed their primary vaccine series, so as many eligible individuals as possible will be able to receive a booster dose. It is likely that there will be high demand for on-site vaccination clinics, and pharmacy partners will be scheduling clinics over the next few months.
    For residents and staff who are willing and able to travel to a vaccination site, the fastest way to get vaccinated may be at an existing vaccination site in the local community. For some residents and staff, receiving vaccinations on-site may be the best option. Timing and availability of on-site clinics will vary based on pharmacy and state resources. All LTC providers that request assistance in accessing COVID-19 vaccines will receive the support they need.

Is there an option for coadministration of vaccines (flu and COVID-19, etc.) as part of this effort?

How can LTC settings in rural locations get vaccines for their residents?

  • LTC administrators and managers in rural locations are encouraged to contact their LTC pharmacy, a retail pharmacy, or other vaccination provider to arrange for a vaccination clinic at their location. LTC settings having difficulties arranging COVID-19 vaccination for residents and staff should contact their state or local health department’s immunization program pdf icon[3 page]external icon for assistance. A health department may be able to arrange an on-site vaccination clinic on their behalf.
    If the state or jurisdictional immunization program in unable to connect an LTC setting with a vaccine provider, CDC is available to assist. Please contact CDC-INFO at 800-232-4636 for additional support.

Can a LTC setting receive COVID-19 vaccine by enrolling directly with their state or local immunization program as a COVID-19 vaccination provider?

  • Yes. Some states may enroll LTC settings as COVID-19 vaccination providers and allow them to order COVID-19 vaccine directly for administration to their residents and staff; this may be the best option for certain settings to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccination. LTC settings that are COVID-19 vaccination providers are responsible for vaccine ordering, storage, handling, and administration. Providers would also be responsible for reporting supply and vaccine administration information to their state. The COVID-19 vaccination provider enrollment process differs by state and local immunization program and may not be an option for every LTC setting. Find additional information on enrollment.

Can LTC pharmacies contract with LTC settings or staff to administer COVID-19 vaccines on-site at a facility? 

  • Yes. The CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Agreement permits LTC pharmacies that are enrolled providers in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to contract with an LTC setting or LTC setting staff and, through this process, utilize facility staff for vaccine administration. LTC pharmacies enrolled in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program through their state and local immunization programs may do the same. LTC pharmacies should consult with their own counsel to determine whether such a contract complies with applicable state or territorial laws and to ensure they are meeting all the requirements of the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement.
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2021