Yesterday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which serves in an advisory capacity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), voted to recommend that residents and staff of long-term care facilities be prioritized in Phase 1a; this includes assisted living communities. ACIP’s final recommendation will go to the director of the CDC for approval before becoming official CDC policy. (Review the full ACIP presentation here.) As a result, we recommend providers take the following actions:
- Visit your state’s Department of Health website to review COVID-19 vaccine plans, which should be finalized by December 4.
- Establish a connection with the appropriate individual(s) at local health departments to collaborate on vaccine distribution and education efforts for staff. Staff should be prioritized in advance as health care workers and states will be moving to administer these as quickly as possible.
- Residents will receive vaccinations as part of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program administered by CVS and Walgreens. Staff may still receive vaccines when clinics are administered to your residents if they have not received them previously.
- Engage with your selected long-term care pharmacy partner to begin a process for obtaining consent forms for the vaccination of residents. You will need to consider how to obtain consent through legal guardians where needed.
- Begin to consider distribution of educational materials when they are available to educate staff and residents on the efficacy of the vaccine.
We are working closely with our state partners and asking them to review their state’s plan and work with their governors to maintain vaccine prioritization for residents and staff in their state, and we are engaging our Vaccine & Testing Task Force to help align the industry's response to this upcoming vaccination process.
We will soon be announcing an upcoming vaccine webinar that will review the latest details to date and provide actionable insights. In the meantime, we encourage you to register for the Vaccine Briefing webinar on December 8 hosted by PharMerica featuring John Schulte, VP, Quality Improvement, Argentum and TJ Griffin, R.Ph, Chief Pharmacy Officer at PharMerica.