On Friday, October 16, the White House announced the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program—a national vaccine distribution program for long term care residents.
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. The Friday announcement indicated that the two companies will:
- Receive and manage vaccines and associated supplies (syringes, needles, and personal protective equipment);
- Ensure cold chain management for vaccine;
- Provide on-site administration of vaccine;
- Report required vaccination data (including who was vaccinated, with what vaccine, and where) to the state, local, or territorial, and federal public health authorities within 72 hours of administering each dose; and,
- Adhere to all applicable Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for COVID-19 testing for long term care facility staff.
Operators will not be required to participate in the program and can use their own preferred distribution partners, the federal government noted.
Starting on Monday, October 19, long term care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living communities, ICF/IIDs and other congregate settings for older adults) that want to participate 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 National Healthcare Safety Network website, while assisted living communities and other congregate settings can register through an online survey (see linked overview and FAQs below).
Long term care facilities should strongly consider participating and registering as soon as the portals open. Facilities that choose not to participate in the Program should be prepared to have resources to address all aspects of COVID-19 vaccination, through state and/or other resources. This is critical to ensuring your vulnerable residents are among the first to receive a vaccine when it becomes available.
To prepare, we encourage you to review these materials, as well as:
- Compile the necessary information for the nursing home and assisted living portals, to inform CDC about your resident population.
Register now for one of the AHCA/NCAL “Office Hours” on ahcancalED – there are multiple times over the next two weeks with CDC staff to help answer your questions about this vaccination program.
Check the AHCA/NCAL emails and website early next week for the registration links and any additional information.