Today, HHS announced that it has partnered with CVS and Walgreens for the complete management of the COVID-19 vaccination process for long-term care communities. We have been emphasizing the importance of not only prioritization, but also assistance with vaccine administration, and we appreciate HHS’ attention to and action on this integral issue.
HHS’ Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program is intended to help minimize the challenges associated with vaccine handling, administration, and reporting requirements. Currently, no vaccines have received FDA-authorization, but the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program is being established in anticipation that one or more COVID-19 vaccines will be available before the end of the year. Some highlights of the program include:
- Free of charge to communities
- Available for residents in all long-term care settings, including skilled nursing facilities (SNF), nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes, and adult family homes
- Available to all remaining staff members who have not been previously vaccinated for COVID-19 (e.g., through satellite, temporary, or off-site clinics)
- Available in most rural areas that may not have an easily accessible pharmacy
HHS has indicated that CVS and Walgreens will also be scheduling and coordinating dates for vaccine administration on-site at each community. This may involve multiple visits over the course of approximately two months to administer vaccine doses (if more than one required) to residents and staff.
Starting Monday, October 19, assisted living communities will be able to opt-in to the program online and indicate which pharmacy partner they prefer to have on-site. The form will remain open for two weeks. Long-term care communities are not mandated to participate in this program and can request to use their current pharmacy contracts to support COVID-19 vaccination. Any communities that choose not to participate should be prepared to manage all aspects of vaccine management.
Argentum will be working closely with our Vaccine Task Force over the coming days to prepare a checklist of considerations for communities as they plan for a vaccination strategy. For questions specific to the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, you are also encouraged to contact [email protected].