Strategies for Reaching People with Limited Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Feedback from Jurisdictional Listening Sessions

One of the seven goals of the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparednesspdf iconexternal icon is to protect groups at higher risk for COVID-19 and advance health equity.

On this page, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines practices reported during jurisdictional listening sessions conducted in February and March 2021 with the CDC Vaccine Task Force. These listening sessions focused on how to leverage relationships with existing systems to reach populations who might need help accessing COVID-19 vaccination.

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The strategies reported by jurisdictions on this page are not formal recommendations from CDC; they are listed as broad considerations other jurisdictions can consider adapting in their communities.

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination
Existing System Strategies Reported by Jurisdictions
Case managers Have case managers contact people who receive disability or social services and help them register for vaccination appointments.
Community organizations Work with organizations that already provide services within the community to assist with scheduling vaccination appointments, such as community centers and adult day centers.
Dedicated call-lines Establish a dedicated call-line for people or their caregivers to call if they need help scheduling a vaccination appointment.
Faith-based organizations Work with faith-based leaders to help schedule vaccination appointments for people in their congregations.
Medicaid/Medicare Work with Medicaid/Medicare and state aging, behavioral health, and developmental disabilities offices to help schedule a vaccination appointment for anyone receiving their services.
Pharmacies Develop partnerships with pharmacies that can schedule vaccination appointments for older adults, people with disabilities, and others who need help accessing vaccination.
Residential facilities Coordinate with health departments or other providers to register anyone living in a residential facility for focused vaccination events.

How to Arrange Transportation to a COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination Services

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination
Existing System Strategies Reported by Jurisdictions
Case managers Discuss ways to allow caregiver reimbursement for transporting people with disabilities to vaccination appointments.
Community organizations Work with organizations that already provide accessible transportation to take people to vaccination appointments.
Department of Transportation Work with the Department of Transportation to offer free public transportation to vaccination sites.
Faith-based organizations Partner with faith-based leaders to arrange transportation for people in their congregations to vaccination sites.
Medicaid/Medicare Remind eligible recipients about the non-emergency medical transportation benefit to arrange transportation to a vaccination appointment.
Non-emergency services Partner with non-emergency medical units to provide accessible transportation to vaccination sites.
Personal transport companies Connect with personal transport companies to develop a program to transport people in wheelchairs to vaccination sites.
Ride-share services Collaborate with ride-share services to transport people who might need help accessing vaccination sites.

How to Vaccinate Paid and Unpaid Caregivers ― Including Family Members Who Care for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination
Existing System Strategies Reported by Jurisdictions
In-home vaccination Consider vaccinating family members and other caregivers at the same time when vaccinating people who are homebound or isolated.
Vaccination events Partner with providers to host focused vaccination events conveniently located for people who might need help accessing vaccination and their paid and unpaid caregivers.
Vaccination plans Consider approaches to facilitate vaccinations of paid and unpaid caregivers who care for older adults and people with disabilities in jurisdictional plans.
Vaccination waivers Offer state authorized vaccination waivers for providers to be able to vaccinate caregivers at the same time they vaccinate older adults and people with disabilities.

How to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination
Existing System Strategies Reported by Jurisdictions
Community town halls Schedule community town halls to present COVID-19 vaccine information and respond to community questions and concerns.
Faith-based leaders Ask faith-based leaders to discuss COVID-19 vaccination with their congregations, including importance, safety, and efficacy.
Healthcare providers Provide healthcare providers with accessible resources to help encourage dialogue with patients about COVID-19 vaccination.
Peer-to-peer messages Engage people who might need help accessing vaccination and their caregivers to share their COVID-19 vaccination experience with peers in the community.
Vaccine ambassadors Recruit vaccine ambassadors who are trusted messengers to advocate for COVID-19 vaccination in the local community.

How to Identify People Who are Homebound or Isolated for COVID-19 Vaccination

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination
Existing System Strategies Reported by Jurisdictions
Aging/disability service agencies Work with local Area Agencies on Aging and Centers for Independent Living to identify people who are homebound.
Community organizations Solicit Meals on Wheels and other organizations to work with local health departments to help identify people who are homebound.
Faith-based organizations Work with leaders within faith-based organizations to identify people who are homebound within their congregations.
Medicaid/Medicare Work with Medicaid/Medicare and state aging, behavioral health, and developmental disabilities offices to identify clients who need nursing home level of care, but who are living in the community.
Self-identification Establish a dedicated call-line for people or their caregivers who identify as homebound if they need to schedule in-home vaccination.

How to Reach People Who are Homebound or Isolated to Provide COVID-19 Vaccination

How to Schedule COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments for People Who Need Help Accessing Vaccination
Existing System Strategies Reported by Jurisdictions
Community organizations Work with home visiting programs and social or other health services to develop a plan to vaccinate people they serve.
Emergency medical services Partner with the fire departments and other emergency units to facilitate in-home vaccination of people who are homebound or isolated.
Health providers and systems Solicit independent providers and health systems to provide in-home vaccination services. Find ways to reimburse these providers.
Medicaid/Medicare Utilize Medicaid/Medicare visiting home providers to assist with in-home vaccination.
Mobile units and strike teams Secure mobile units or work with the national guard and in-home infusion companies to provide in-home vaccination to people who are homebound or isolated.
Page last reviewed: September 7, 2021