Some Third Vaccine Clinics Won't Give First Doses

Regulation | February 09, 2021 | by Linda Couch

On February 8, the CDC stated clearly that, depending on your jurisdiction, your pharmacy partner may or may not administer first vaccine doses to residents and staff at your third Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program clinic.

On February 8, the CDC stated clearly that, depending on your jurisdiction, your pharmacy partner may or may not administer first vaccine doses to residents and staff at your third Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program clinic.

The CDC issued, on February 8, a “frequently asked questions” on third clinics conducted as part of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Per CDC’s recommendation to do so, many states have included HUD Section 202 communities as “long-term care” communities for purposes of their state’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program (PPLTCP).

As part of the PPLTCP program, the pharmacy partner (CVS, Walgreens, or another pharmacy partner) provides “end-to-end” vaccine administration at the participating PPLTCP sites for three clinics.

LeadingAge understands that more than half of participating Section 202 communities will have their second of three vaccine clinics on or after February 11. Communities will want to talk to their pharmacy partner to find out whether first doses will be administered at their third clinic. If they will not be, communities may wish to communicate this news to residents and staff.

LeadingAge is aware of increased first dose vaccine uptake at the second clinic as some residents and staff waited to see how others fared after the first clinic. It could be that some residents and staff are assuming first doses will be available at a third clinic. If this is not the case, some of these residents and staff may decide to receive their first dose at the second clinic.

The CDC’s February 9 FAQ notes that while the CDC wants to optimize vaccination opportunities, “some jurisdictions have asked pharmacy partners not to initiate first dose vaccinations at third clinics. In this case, [long-term care communities] and pharmacy partners should follow jurisdictional guidance,” the CDC’s FAQ says. That is, depending on your jurisdiction, your pharmacy partner may or may not administer first vaccine doses to residents and staff at your third PPLTCP clinic.

The FAQ also discusses plans that should be made to receive the second dose for anyone receiving their first dose at a third clinic. These plans will differ depending on whether that first dose was from the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine at the third on-site clinic. The guidance for making a plan differs because of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s unique cold chain requirements. “It is important to determine in advance how staff and residents who receive their first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a third clinic will access their second dose,” the CDC says. Read the FAQ here.