All Provider Types: Nov. 6 Deadline for Vaccine Distribution Program

Regulation | November 03, 2020 | by Linda Couch

The CDC has set a November 6 deadline for aging services providers to sign up for its Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. The CDC is working with stakeholders, including LeadingAge, to determine how the COVID-19 vaccine, once it’s available, will be distributed to long term care providers. The CDC is also working with Governors’ offices to ensure state priorities for vaccine distribution are incorporated into distribution phases.

The CDC has set a November 6 deadline for aging services providers to sign up for its Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. The CDC is working with stakeholders, including LeadingAge, to determine how the COVID-19 vaccine, once it’s available, will be distributed to long term care providers. The CDC is also working with Governors’ offices to ensure state priorities for vaccine distribution are incorporated into distribution phases.

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) will make their selection through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Other long term care providers, including assisted living, adult day, HUD Section 202 affordable senior housing, other independent living, PACE, hospice, home health, and life plan communities, among others, can express interest in participating in the pharmacy partnership vaccine distribution program by filling out this form by November 6.

Completing the selection via the NHSN or the form will by no means be the last action providers have to take before a vaccine shows up at their community or office, but it will ensure that the CDC and state officials are fully aware of the kinds of providers and the numbers of people able to be served by that provider in a geographic area. LeadingAge sees no downside for members to complete these forms.

In order to be prepared when a vaccine does become available, the CDC expects to begin determining tranches for distribution as soon as November 7. The CDC is partnering with CVS and Walgreens for the pharmacy partnership; these are two large chains with significant capacity to manage what’s expected to be an unusually complex vaccine storage and distribution puzzle.

As part of this program, which is free of charge to facilities, the pharmacy will:

  • Schedule and coordinate on-site clinic date(s) directly with each facility.
  • Three visits over approximately two months will likely be needed to administer both doses of vaccine and vaccinate any new residents and staff.
  • Order vaccines and associated supplies (e.g., syringes, needles, personal protective equipment).
  • Ensure cold chain management for vaccine.
  • Provide on-site administration of vaccine.
  • Report required vaccination data (approximately 20 data fields) to the local, state/territorial, and federal jurisdictions within 72 hours of administering each dose.
  • Adhere to all applicable Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) COVID-19 testing requirements for LTCF staff.

More on the CDC's vaccine pharmacy partnerhip program