COVID-19 vaccine eligibility details and information for residential congregate care programs as part of Phase 1 of the MA COVID-19 vaccine distribution timeline.
COVID-19 vaccinations for congregate care settings
Table of Contents
All residential congregate care staff and residents are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Examples of residential congregate care settings include:
- Emergency shelter programs including homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and veterans’ shelters
- Private special education schools which offer residential services and are approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
There are three vaccination options for staff and residents who do not plan to be vaccinated through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership program (FPPP) with CVS and Walgreens:
- Organizations that have the appropriate clinical capabilities may apply to directly receive and administer COVID-19 vaccines;
- Organizations may leverage existing pharmacy partnerships or a relationship with a medical provider; or
- Schedule an appointment at a general vaccination location (including pharmacy settings) or a mass vaccination location. See the list of locations. Additional mass vaccination and general vaccination locations will continue to launch in the coming weeks.
CVS and/or Walgreens have reached out to organizations participating in the FPP program. Please contact your agency point of contact, contact information below, for support if you have any questions about your organization’s participation in the FPP program.
Correctional facilities staff will receive information on vaccines, including scheduling, from their employers.
Learn how to prepare for your appointment and what you need to bring with you.
You will never be asked for a credit card number to make an appointment.
Information for congregate care organizations
Vaccine Deployment Options
Option #1: Program “Self-Administration”
Organizations that have the capability to directly receive and administer COVID-19 vaccines can request vaccine from the Department of Public Health after meeting the following requirements. Self-administering organizations must plan to vaccinate more than 200 individuals. Programs may partner to reach the threshold.
- Review the DPH Guide for Applying to Administer the COVID-19 Vaccine.
- Onboard to DPH’s Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS) and enroll in the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Program (MCVP).
- Identify a practitioner to write a Standing Order for Administering Vaccine.
- Have freezer/refrigeration storage capacity to store the Moderna vaccine.
- Have the organizational capacity to vaccinate individuals and staff, including approved health care personnel to serve as vaccinators and to observe individuals post-vaccine.
- Adhere to screening, onsite protocols, consent, tracking and second dose guidance.
- Additional guidance can be found here.
Option #2: Leverage Existing Pharmacy Partnerships or other Medical Provider Relationships
Programs may have existing pharmacy partnerships through regular flu vaccine clinics, and/or other existing relationships with local hospitals, community health centers, university health centers, or VNAs, and these partnerships may be leveraged to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Programs are encouraged to contact existing partners to determine if they have the capacity to operate a vaccine clinic or mobile vaccine distribution. If you identify a clinical partner, your agency contact can work with DPH to ensure your clinical partner is allocated vaccine.
Option #3: Mass Vaccination Sites or Other Clinic Sites
In the next few weeks, the Commonwealth will launch Mass Vaccination sites and expects additional provider and pharmacy vaccination sites to launch. Vaccination sites will be posted here. Sites will require appropriate identification to establish you meet the congregate care prioritization criteria. Appropriate identification for both staff and residents using Mass Vaccination sites includes a letter from the organization and an employee identification card or state/federal issued identification.
Organizations should provide staff and residents with a letter verifying that the individual meets Phase 1 Residential Congregate Care and Shelter eligibility guidelines as specified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The eligibility letters should:
- Be on organizational letterhead
- Identify the individual by name
- Identify vaccine locations and direct the individual to additional information on the mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine website
- Remind individuals to bring employee identification or state or federal issued identification to the site
Note: Additional, program-specific guidance will be given for situations requiring sensitivity to protect confidentiality and other unique program considerations.
DPH and EOHHS are exploring additional avenues for local vaccine clinics and mobile vaccine distribution and will work with providers needing assistance to find a solution for your site. Additional information and locations will be shared and posted here as it is available.
Please contact your agency point of contact for support. The point of contact for each agency will be actively engaged with providers to ensure questions are answered and any issues are coordinated, elevated, and resolved. The points of contact will work actively with providers on the options currently outlined to ensure that the providers have implementation plans for each of their congregate care and shelter settings.
- Residential Congregate Care and Shelter Guidance
- Residential Congregate Care and Shelter Provider Webinar, January 7, 2021
Agency Points of Contact
- Department of Developmental Services
- Cynthia Miller: email@example.com, (857) 225-8770
- Department of Children and Families
- Ryan FitzGerald: firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 680-2835
- Department of Mental Health
- Beth Lucas: email@example.com, (617) 680-4258
- Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services
- Therese Fleisher: firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 645-2865
- Department of Public Health SDV Shelters
- Chris Newman: email@example.com, (781) 471-0932
- Department of Veterans Services
- Claire Makrinikolas: firstname.lastname@example.org, (857) 268-1151
- Department of Youth Services
- Ruth Rovezzi: email@example.com, (413) 265-0624
- Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
- Sandy Biber: firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 777-5909
- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
- Lesli Johnson: email@example.com, (857) 248-0930
- Department of Elementary and Secondary Education/ Department of Early Education and Care / Special Education Residential Schools
- Patti Mackin: firstname.lastname@example.org, (781) 927-5627
- Individual & Family Congregate Shelters
- Tom Brigham (DPH): email@example.com, (617) 777-5129
Frequently Asked Questions