Increasing Vaccine Confidence
General Resources and Tools for Vaccines
Resources from the CalTCM Delphi Group.
(Eric Dowdy participates in this group on behalf of the LeadingAge California members.)
Pharmacy Partnerships for Long-Term Care Program
COVID-19 Vaccinations for Congregate Living Communities in California
Summary of the December 3, 2020 COVID-19 LTCF Work Group Meeting
As of December 3, 2020 there are 11 vaccine candidates in the trial phase worldwide. Two mRNA vaccines have recently become available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from Moderna and Pfizer. California is anticipating administering vaccinations to 2.4 million healthcare professionals (approximately 150,000 in skilled nursing facilities and 300,000 in residential care facilities for the elderly). Additionally, the state is planning to vaccinate 400,000 residents (100,000 in skilled nursing and 300,000 in residential care facilities for the elderly).
The state anticipates that Phase 1a of the vaccine distribution plan to occur in approximately two weeks. Long-term Care Facilities (including HUD 202 affordable senior housing) will have two options to receive the vaccine:
- Pharmacy Partnership Program with CVS and Walgreens
- Local Health Departments
How is the state educating facilities and residents about the vaccine?
The California Department of Public Health will be releasing FAQs and other documents that outline who is eligible for the vaccine, information about emergency use authorizations and the efficacy of the vaccinations out for distribution. Flyers will also be developed to encourage staff to get vaccinated that can be posted in common areas such as lounges and lunchrooms. CDPH will be sharing this information with LeadingAge CA as it becomes available and we will share it with our membership.
Which program will get the vaccine first?
We understand that the local health departments will receive the first doses and the Pharmacy Partnership Program will be activated when the state signals it is ready.
Who will get the Moderna vaccine and who will get the Pfizer vaccine?
CDPH indicated that this depends on logistics. CVS and Walgreens will only get one type (maker). For example, Northern California vaccines will all be either Pfizer or Moderna but not a mixture. The vaccines cannot be used interchangeably. The first dose of the Pfizer vaccine must be followed up with a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Is the vaccine restricted to just healthcare staff?
No, CDPH is keeping the definition broad to include paid and unpaid staff which includes non-medical professionals such as housekeepers, maintenance, etc.
How will the local health departments administer the vaccines?
There appears to be variation in what each county will do. Some counties are activating strike teams of public health nurses (county employees) and other counties are considering working with pharmacies and nursing students.
Does the Pharmacy Partnership Program allow for staggering of the vaccine administration?
No, the partnership program with CVS and Walgreens is for the initial vaccination to be performed on 3 onsite visits over a period of a few weeks. CDPH does acknowledge that it would be wise to ensure staff continuity to stagger doses in case of reactions. The Department is considering alternatives.