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) providers are encouraged to consider the option that works best for residents and staff when coordinating access to COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters.

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, including boosters, at an existing vaccination site, such as a nearby pharmacy or healthcare provider’s office.

  • Visit vaccines.gov to find COVID-19 vaccines and boosters near you.
  • LTC residents and staff should take their vaccination cards with them to their COVID-19 vaccine
  • 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.

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 Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging 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.

Vaccination On-Site

For some residents and staff, receiving vaccinations on-site may be the best option. Coordinate with a vaccine provider and host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for residents and staff at your facility.

  • Contact your long-term care pharmacy, local retail pharmacy, or other vaccine provider to arrange for an on-site vaccination clinic. 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 of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 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 [3 pages] for assistance.
  • If the state or jurisdictional immunization program is unable to connect your LTC setting with a vaccine provider, contact CDC INFO at 1-800-232-4636 for additional support.
  • If the LTC facility is 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

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 [3 page] 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, which allows these facilities 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.