COVID-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

LeadingAge WA has been involved with DOH and multiple stakeholders on the Washington COVID-19 vaccine program and planning.  There continues to be a lot of interest in obtaining educational information on the vaccine to share with residents, families, and staff, which DOH is not yet able to supply.  This information will be made available after the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is given to Pfizer and Moderna for their vaccines.

What we do know now is that you should be hearing from CVS or Walgreens Pharmacy within the next week. The final list of facilities will be sent by CDC to DOH later this week.  DOH will then send you an email with information regarding which pharmacy you are signed up with and what to expect during the vaccination process. Washington DOH has chosen the Pfizer vaccine to be given to LTC residents, (unless ACIP decides the Moderna vaccine is better for the elderly), the effectiveness is the same overall, CVS and Walgreens have the ability to do cold storage, and there are fewer side effects in the elderly. If staff are vaccinated at the facility, they will also receive the Pfizer vaccine.  There will be other pharmacy sites available for Home Health, Home Care and Hospice staff to receive vaccines.  You will receive the consent form from the Pharmacy you are working with PRIOR to the vaccination clinic day, again, these will be sent after the EUA is given for the vaccine.

In the meantime, CVS Pharmacy is encouraging those facilities that signed up with them to go onto the website and update your contact information. It is advisable to list more than one contact person on the list to receive information from the pharmacy. (Link below)  There is also a link to a recorded webinar done by Walgreens on the vaccination plan linked below.

Clarification from CDC on Pharmacy Partnership:

Ruth Link-Gelles, who runs point on the Pharmacy Partnership at CDC, was on the LeadingAge National Coronavirus Update Call on Monday.  Here are some high points, particularly to clarify the order of distribution:

  • Beyond group 1a’s focus on health care workers, the 1a group’s long term care facilities will likely see “waves” of vaccine distribution, with skilled nursing homes being first, followed by assisted living and other “residential care” facilities, “including IDD and HUD Section 202 communities.”
  • The 1a recommendations from ACIP, which the CDC is expected to formally consider on December 11, will still be recommendations upon CDC approval: states are not required to follow them.
  • Many states are activating vaccine distribution programs to get vaccination clinics stood up as quickly as possible. Some states may choose to distribute vaccines to long-term care communities after they have completed distribution to hospitals.
  • Link-Gelles was asked about which staff are considered health care workers and responded that the CDC has a very broad definition of health care worker, including paid and unpaid workers. Home care and home health staff, Dr. Link-Gelles said, would not be covered under the Pharmacy Partnership Program for LTC, but all states are doing their own vaccine rollouts for health care workers and home health and home care workers will be included as health care workers.
  • For HUD Section 202 communities, Dr. Link-Gelles said that which staff receive the vaccination would depend on how closely they work with residents; service coordinators would receive the vaccine but staff exclusively teleworking might not; these details would be worked out between the LTCF and the Pharmacy Partnership pharmacy.

In its FAQ on the Pharmacy Partnership posted on December 7, the CDC notes which facilities are eligible: “Long-term care facilities are eligible to participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program, including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities (residential long-term care facilities providing assistance and supervision to primarily elderly residents with activities of daily living and skills for independent living), and similar congregate living settings where most individuals receiving care/supervision are older than 65 years of age.

New Links and info from CDC:

CDC shared several links with LeadingAge National with vaccine information. There are still so many questions that have not been addressed, and maybe cannot be addressed until a vaccine is actually approved, but these may help providers in preparing. 




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