The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.
Accessing the COVID-19 vaccine in LTC post-pharmacy partnership
By Patti Cullen, CAE | February 19, 2021 | All members
After the completion of the CDC’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program, LTC facilities must secure ongoing access to COVID-19 vaccines for new or not previously vaccinated residents and staff. The CDC recently posted new guidance
on how LTC facilities should ensure ongoing access to the COVID-19 vaccine. This guidance provides three options for LTC facilities (skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other congregate living setting) to continue to receive the vaccine:
- Work with an LTC pharmacy enrolled through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program—Facilities may coordinate directly with participating LTC pharmacies to get access to vaccines and plan vaccination clinics. A list of pharmacy partners participating in the federal program is available here.
- Work with an LTC pharmacy enrolled as a COVID-19 vaccine provider with your state or territory. Facilities can contact their current LTC pharmacy to verify if they are enrolled as a vaccine provider in their state/territory.
- Enroll as a vaccine provider and order, distribute, and administer the vaccine yourself. This is the most burdensome option as it requires the facility to be responsible for vaccine ordering, storage, handling, and administration, plus reporting supply and vaccine information to the state. COVID-19 vaccine provider requirements differ by state. Contact your state immunization office for more information.
Facilities should immediately reach out to their LTC pharmacy to understand whether they can supply and administer COVID-19 vaccine to your residents and staff. If they cannot, facilities should seek alternative pharmacy partners by visiting the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program or contacting your state health department.
Please note that facility staff cannot administer the vaccine on behalf of the pharmacy unless the facility themselves are enrolled as a vaccine provider with their state. However, LTC pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are allowed to subcontract staff for vaccine administration, which could include facility staff.
Patti Cullen, CAE | President/CEO | firstname.lastname@example.org | 952-851-2487