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COVID-19 Vaccine Access in Long-Term Care Settings

Vaccination is critical -- especially in long-term care settings

People in long-term care settings – whether they are older adults or people with disabilities or chronic health conditions – have faced high risks from COVID-19. The best way to mitigate these risks is vaccination of residents and staff.

CDC now recommends booster shots for people who are at highest risk for COVID-19, if they received their second Pfizer or Moderna shot at least six months ago and for all adults who received their Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shot at least two months ago. 

One of the populations who should receive a booster shot is people who are 18 or older in long-term care settings. (Staff working in long-term care settings also may receive a booster.)


Are you a long-term care provider looking for help

connecting your clients, residents and staff to vaccines?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Administration for Community Living are working together to assist long-term care settings in providing access to COVID-19 vaccines and, where recommended, boosters. Through this page on CDC's website, residential or community-based long-term care providers can connect to a pharmacy partner to access COVID-19 vaccines for their clients, residents, and staff. The page also includes a downloadable PDF with information on long-term care pharmacies that are enrolled with the federal government to provide COVID-19 vaccines.

Not sure whether your setting is considered a long-term care setting? Read more below.


What is considered a long-term care setting?

“Long-term care settings” include any location where older adults, people with disabilities or chronic health conditions, or people otherwise needing assistance with activities of daily living receive services or supports. These can include both medical care and non-medical care. Examples of long-term care settings include, but are not limited to:  

  • Skilled nursing and nursing facilities (also known as nursing homes);
  • Intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICFs-IID);
  • Inpatient psychiatric settings, including psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs);
  • Inpatient substance use disorder facilities and residential settings for people with substance use disorders;
  • Assisted living settings for older adults and people with disabilities, including assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, residential care and continuing care retirement communities, personal care homes, and board and care homes; 
  • Senior housing, including Section 202 and other HUD-assisted housing that primarily serves older adults;
  • Housing for people with disabilities, including Section 811 HUD-assisted housing, Housing Opportunities for People living With AIDS (HOPWA), and other HUD-assisted housing that primarily serves people with disabilities;
  • Residential settings for people with disabilities and older adults, including group homes, shared living, adult foster care, and transitional housing; 
  • Congregate day programs, including adult day programs, PACE programs, day habilitation programs, and other community-based day service programs; and
  • Senior center programs and congregate nutrition programs. 

The term “long-term care setting” is meant to be broad and inclusive, and the above list is not exhaustive. It’s also important to note that the same type of setting may be called different things from state to state, or even from community to community.   

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine access, including boosters, for people in other types of congregate settings (that are not considered long-term care settings), see this page for people experiencing homelessness and this page for corrections settings.

Are you an older adult or person with a disability who is not in a long-term care setting? 

Last modified on 10/26/2021

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