LTC Roadmap for Vaccinations

LTC Roadmap for Vaccinations

The following provides an update on the ongoing discussion for vaccines in LTC facilities after the Federal Pharmacy Partnership has concluded. LeadingAge WA and other stakeholder groups have been meeting with Dept of Health weekly on vaccine planning.

LeadingAge WA started asking about ongoing plans for vaccinating new admissions and new staff in January. At that time, it was felt that new residents and staff would be picked up in the second clinics with boosters being completed at the third clinic.  We learned in the second week of February that DOH had requested CVS and Walgreens administer first doses at the 3rd clinic, with no plans for follow up second doses. There has been no acceptable ongoing plan for LTC to continue vaccinating residents and staff, although DOH continues to work on this.  I am attaching a DOH document on the LTCF Roadmap for Vaccination, this plan is not yet finalized.

We know it’s not just the prevalence of variants we need to be concerned with but, importantly, how well the vaccine works against the different variants. This determination is not made by Washington State, but we rely on CDC.  Here’s what the CDC says:

  • We know that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
    • We’re still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
  • We know that other prevention steps help stop the spread of COVID-19, and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being distributed.
    • We’re still learning how well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease.
    • Early data show that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
  • We’re still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people.
  • As we know more, CDC will continue to update our recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

This is why it is so important to keep vaccinating new residents and staff, and why we keep pushing DOH to come up with an ongoing plan for LTC.  Until we know more about those questions, everyone — even people who’ve had their vaccines — should continue taking basic prevention steps when recommended.

Until a plan can be developed at the state level, there are things you can start working on now.

  1. Connect with your local health jurisdiction to inquire about mobile teams they might have in place to continue with ongoing vaccination of new residents, or clinics being held for priority 1a staff. We have sent information out to King County communities about SKCPH’s plans for ongoing vaccine clinics. We have heard some counties are using Fire Dept. staff for mobile vaccine teams.
  2. Connect with your discharging hospital systems and inquire about any plans they might have for vaccinating residents prior to discharge. We have heard hospitals are willing to do this if they have the vaccine supply. LTC is slated to receive the Moderna vaccine for ongoing vaccination, the hospital would need to have the same vaccine available that you would be giving for the second dose.
  3. Speak with your LTC pharmacy about plans they have developed for LTC vaccines.  Some LTC pharmacies have already signed up to be a part of the COVID-19 vaccine program with WA State and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership.  They should be able to tell you their plan for sending vaccine to your building or coming out to vaccinate new residents and staff.
  4. If your LTC pharmacy doesn’t plan on offering the vaccine, please reach out to other LTC pharmacies that service your area and see if they are planning on bringing on new clients specifically for the COVID-19 vaccine.

We are hoping that ongoing vaccinations will be accomplished through a multi-pronged approach –

  • at discharge by the hospital.
  • ordered through your pharmacy with which you’ve contracted for this purpose which then follows the usual process for flu vaccine administration; and
  • for those that need licensed staff support to administer the vaccine, then through rapid response teams or a nurse delegator.

As soon as we learn more about the details behind “the plan”, we will share those with you, including the list of approved and willing pharmacies.  

LTCF Roadmap for Vaccination



Laura Hofmann, MSN, RN – Director of Clinical and Nursing Facility Regulatory Services
c: 425-231-4804

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March 10, 2021