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COVID-19 vaccinations for senior housing settings

Vaccinations for residents living in and staff working in public and private low income and affordable housing for older people

Residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There currently are two options for residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing:

  1. Residents and staff of senior affordable housing may schedule individual appointments at public vaccination locations, including mass vaccination sites, pharmacies, community health centers and health care systems. To preregister for a mass vaccination or certain regional collaborative sites, or to schedule an appointment at another type of site, visit mass.gov/covidvaccine. Please note, due to limited supply and high demand it may take several weeks to schedule an appointment or be notified an appointment is available.
  2. Housing owners and operators may plan onsite and offsite vaccination clinics in partnership with a vaccination provider, such as the local Board of Health, an independent or retail pharmacy, a community health center, or a healthcare system. Housing owners of eligible properties who wish to organize a vaccination clinic, should email seniorhousingvaccine@mass.gov.

Table of Contents

Eligibility

Public and private low income and affordable senior housing is defined as any residential premises available for lease by older or disabled individuals which is financed or subsidized in whole or in part by state or federal housing programs established primarily to furnish housing rather than housing and personal services. Specifically, this includes the following types of age-restricted housing properties:

  • Public housing properties designated primarily for older adults that are owned/operated by Local Housing Authorities. This includes those public housing properties owned by a Housing Authority but managed by a private company. 
  • Privately owned rental properties designated for older adults that are financed in whole or part through resources made available from DHCD, MassHousing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or USDA, and in which the majority of units are restricted to residents earning less than 80% of Area Median Income.

“Residents” include those household members currently on the lease for a rental unit in public and private low income and affordable senior housing.

“Staff” includes all persons, paid or unpaid, working or volunteering at each of the qualified housing locations, who have the potential for exposure to residents or to infectious materials, contaminated environmental surfaces, or contaminated air. 

Vaccination locations

There are different ways to find a vaccine appointment:

Massachusetts’ preregistration system makes it easier to request and schedule an appointment. People can preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at mass vaccination locations and certain regional collaborative locations only. More locations will continue to be added.

Once you sign up for preregistration, you’ll receive weekly status updates. You can opt out at any time if you find an appointment elsewhere. Once an appointment is available, you’ll be contacted with the opportunity to book the appointment and have 24 hours to accept it.

Massachusetts receives a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government each week. Due to high demand and very limited supply, it may take several weeks to schedule an appointment or to be notified that an appointment is available.

Resources

Housing Properties in the Federal Pharmacy Participation Program

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program (FPPP) to deploy vaccines to Long Term Care Facilities, including nursing homes, rest homes, assisted living residences, and continuing care retirement communities. The CDC included those properties funded through the HUD Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program. A list of facilities that participated in the FPPP can be found here.

Point of contact

For questions regarding options and resources for vaccines for senior affordable housing  – please contact: SeniorHousingVaccine@mass.gov.

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