This page, COVID-19 vaccinations for nursing homes, rest homes and assisted living residences, is offered by

COVID-19 vaccinations for nursing homes, rest homes and assisted living residences

COVID-19 vaccine information for residents and staff at long term care facilities.

The Commonwealth has prioritized protecting the most vulnerable populations, including long-term care (nursing home, rest home, and assisted living) residents and staff. Vaccinating long-term care facility residents, staff, and visitors against COVID-19 is a crucial step in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting others. Long-term care facilities in partnership with their contracted pharmacies will be able to provide their residents and staff with necessary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Table of Contents

How to get the COVID-19 vaccine

There are several ways for long-term care residents and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine for long-term care residents and staff.

For residents of nursing homes and rest homes:

  • Work with your contracted pharmacy  
    • If a nursing facility or rest home has residents who require the first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine the facility should contact their long-term care pharmacy partner to provide the necessary COVID-19 vaccine to the long-term care facility.

For nursing home and rest home staff:

  • In addition to working with your contracted pharmacy, please use vaxfinder.mass.gov or ask at your local pharmacy
  • All nursing homes must ensure that all personnel are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 10, 2021 and all rest homes must ensure that all personnel are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 31, 2021, unless personnel qualify for a limited exemption because they have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving vaccination or they object to vaccination based on a sincerely held religious belief.

For residents and staff at assisted living residences:

  • Connect with your local pharmacy or clinical provider
  • Visit the VaxFinder at vaxfinder.mass.gov
  • For individuals who are unable to use VaxFinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-2PM by calling 2-1-1

How to get the COVID-19 vaccine booster

A “booster dose” refers to another subsequent dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after full vaccination, but then that protection decreased over time (this is called waning immunity). At this time, booster doses are only available to those who previously received a complete series of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it has been 6 months since their second dose.

Based on the CDC recommendation, long-term care facilities should work to ensure that all eligible residents and staff receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

Learn more: COVID-19 booster frequently asked questions

Nursing homes and rest homes can:

  • Choose to vaccinate their staff and residents
  • Work with contracted pharmacy to provide on-site vaccination of staff and residents
  • Reach out to DPH for on-site vaccination support through the Rapid Response Teams

Please see the most recent guidance from DPH on COVID-19 booster vaccinations for nursing home and rest home staff and residents: COVID-19 Booster Dose Vaccination Guidance.

Assisted living residences can:

  • Leverage existing pharmacy partnerships or other clinical provider relationships for on-site vaccination
  • Provide transportation to vaccine providers in the community
  • Visit the VaxFinder at vaxfinder.mass.gov
  • Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line, available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-2PM by calling 2-1-1 for individuals who are unable to use VaxFinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet

How to enroll in MIIS/MCVP

Long-term care facilities must be enrolled in the MIIS and MCVP to receive and administer COVID-19 vaccine. 

Additionally, long-term care facilities must review instructions on storage and handling, and administering the vaccine: Guidance for Healthcare Providers and Organizations.

Information for families

The Department of Public Health has compiled guidance and information about COVID-19 vaccination specific to long-term care facilities, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

We understand there are many general questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety, plan for equitable access, post-vaccine administration guidance, and other health and safety question. Answers to these general questions and more can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Families with questions on how their loved one will receive their first and/or second dose should reach out to their loved one’s facility.

For additional questions about the care your loved one is receiving, please call the Nursing Home Family Resource Line at 617-660-5399. The Nursing Home Family Resource Line is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Staff will field questions on a range of topics and coordinate across state agencies to help provide answers.

Additional resources and information for families and loved ones of residents in nursing homes, rest homes, and assisted living facilities can be found on the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Family Information Center.

Where can I get more information?

Contact

Phone

Informational and referral hotline 211

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.

Feedback