March 15, 2021
As COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more available across the country, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers and keeping you updated on the latest COVID-19 resources from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and CMS.
With information coming from many different sources, CMS has compiled resources and materials to help you share important and relevant information on the COVID-19 vaccine with the people that you serve. You can find these and more resources on the COVID-19 Partner Resources Page and the HHS COVID Education Campaign page. CMS looks forward to partnering with you to promote vaccine safety and encourage CMS beneficiaries to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity. For more information visit the CMS COVID-19 Policies and Guidance page.
COVID-19 Snapshot of New COVID-19 Vaccine Information
CMS, CDC and HHS have released new guidance and resources related to the COVID-19 vaccine to serve beneficiaries. This important information is highlighted below for our partners:
- CMS released Nursing Home Guidance with Revised Visitation Recommendations with information for nursing homes to safely expand visitation options during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency (PHE). According to the updated guidance, facilities should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident, or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitation. For more information, see the Press Release, Fact Sheet and new Guidance. Please share the visiting nursing home infographic.
- CDC released new guidance, When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated, which is the first interim recommendations for people who are fully vaccinated with guidance for visiting with others in private settings. Here’s some messaging you can share with your consumers:
- If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
- You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
- However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
- Fully vaccinated people can visit indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing with other fully vaccinated people or with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19. They should continue to wear masks and physically distance when in public or with unvaccinated people at high risk.
- You should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
- For more information, see the CDC Information for Consumers page and the Science Brief.
The CMS Office of Minority Health has developed a COVID-19 Vaccine Resources website for vulnerable populations to include many federal resources organized for partners, health care professionals, and consumers. The new website includes links to many federal resources in multiple languages to assist organizations who work with those most vulnerable—such as older adults, those with underlying medical conditions, racial and ethnic minorities, rural communities, and people with disabilities. Some resources include:
- COVID-19 Resources on Vulnerable Populations for Consumers and Patients including the From Coverage to Care COVID-19 Resources with fact sheets in 8 languages with tips to help people protect themselves during COVID-19, understand what health services are covered, and get health care services from home;
- Links to the CDC Vaccines Webpages in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean.
- The FDA COVID-19 vaccine information in multiple languages, including the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers in Multiple Languages and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers in Multiple Languages.
- For additional vaccine resources, visit: go.cms.gov/omhcovid19vaccine.
HHS recently announced Funding for Health Literacy Projects in Underserved Populations, dedicating $250 million to encourage COVID-19 safety and vaccination among underserved populations. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health announced March 8th that funding will support approximately 30 health literacy projects in urban communities and 43 projects in rural communities for two years. Cities, counties, parishes, and other subdivisions, which will team up with community-based organizations, may apply for funding through the Office of Minority Health until April 20, 2021.
If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine information, please e-mail us at: Partnership@cms.hhs.gov