CDC Provides New Initiative to Increase COVID-19 Vaccination in LTC Settings

COVID-19; Programs and Resources

​​With increasing cases of respiratory disease, including COVID-19, this winter, it is imperative to encourage residents, staff, and family members to receive the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters. 

A recent CDC report​ showed:   

  • Adults ages 65 years and older:   
    • ​Continue to have the highest COVID-19-related mortality rates.  
    • The COVID-19-related death rate among unvaccinated people who are 65 years and older has consistently been higher than the rate among vaccinated people.
  • Adults ages 85 years and older:  
    • ​Remain at particularly high risk of dying of COVID-19. 
    • The proportion of COVID-19–related deaths accounted for by adults in this age group increasing during April–September 2022 from 28% to around 40% of COVID-19–related deaths. ​

CDC data on nursing homes showed:  

  • COVID-19 case rates are higher in nursing home residents who have not received all recommended doses than those who are up to date. 
  • COVID-19 vaccination rates, as of December 11:  
    • ​43% of nursing home residents in the United States are up to date with COVID-19 vaccination. 
    • 10% of nursing home staff in the United States are up to date with COVID-19 vaccination. 

The updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters are the best protection against COVID-19 variants causing illness right now. The CDC is creating COVID-19 vaccine sub-provider agreements to allow LTC facilities that are not directly enrolled as providers in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program to access COVID-19 vaccine doses through enrolled pharmacy providers for direct administration by the LTC facilities to their residents and staff. See the CDC agreement for more information.   
Support efforts to increase vaccine and booster uptake:  

  • Share this sample letter with residents and their families. This letter provides information about COVID-19 vaccination and language to communicate and promote the facility’s efforts to provide access to the vaccine (e.g., onsite vaccination or driving residents to a vaccination site).  
  • Advocate for a strong and clear recommendation from the patient’s health care provider to help increase the likelihood that a patient will agree to be vaccinated. 
  • Stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 data in your state or county, using CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker​. This quick reference tracker provides information on COVID-19 cases, deaths, hospitalizations, testing, and vaccination.