Coronavirus Update #179
Federal Vaccination Program for LTC


On Friday, the federal government announced a national vaccine distribution program for long term care residents. This includes nursing homes, assisted living, ICF/IID, independent living, and other long term care centers. LTC facilities are required to sign up for this program, and the CDC is launching the registration process today (Monday, October 19).

The COVID-19 vaccine will likely become available in phases over the coming months. To prepare, the federal government has partnered with CVS and Walgreens to distribute and administer the vaccine to residents in long term care facilities. This program is free of charge and covers all of the reporting requirements associated with the vaccine. Vaccination for health care workers will be handled by states, and will likely take place in early phases of distribution. 

Starting today, long term care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living communities, ICF/IIDs and other congregate settings for older adults) will have two weeks to register with the CDC on how they want to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Nursing homes will be able to register through the NHSN website, while assisted living communities and other congregate settings can register through an online survey. 

We strongly encourage all long term care facilities to participate and register as soon as possible. This is critical to ensuring our vulnerable residents are among the first to receive a vaccine when it becomes available.   

AHCA/NCAL has developed an overview of the program and is hosting a series of “office hours” with AHCA/NCAL and CDC staff to answer questions. Both members and non-members may register free of charge for the office hours at achancalED. A link to an AHCA/NCAL blog post with all relevant information is here.

In addition, the CDC has prepared these communications materials to help further explain the program:

Lastly, HFAM will continue to work and coordinate with the Maryland Department of Health, local leaders, and AHCA/NCAL. We stand with you, and we are proud of your lifesaving work.

Reminders, as always:

  • I am proud of all you are doing.
  • People first, quality counts.
  • Our sector MUST double our efforts on infectious disease protocol, staffing, PPE, observation, and testing.
  • Train, train, and train teams again on infectious disease protocol.
  • Recognize that COVID-19 fighting fatigue is an issue across the county, not just in our sector.
  • Over-communicate with residents, patients, families, staff, and government partners; and work with your hospital partners, and coordinate with local and state regulatory partners.
  • Take and document your action; keep a timeline
  • CLICK HERE for the Dr. Katz Video and please see our attached Donning and Doffing Checklist we first distributed a couple of months ago.

Be well,
Joe DeMattos
President and CEO
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Thank you.

We cannot thank you enough for the dedication and diligence in doing all that you can for the residents in your communities. HFAM continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic with our state and national partners and will do all we can to support you during this time.