On Wednesday, Biden-Harris Administration officials convened leadership and experts from national associations and organizations charged with protecting older adults and providing safe, high-quality care for our nation’s long-term care facility residents.
Administration officials underscored that this is the first fall and winter season where vaccines are available for all three viruses – flu, RSV, and COVID-19 – responsible for most hospitalizations and other severe outcomes, and that vaccination remains our best protection against these viruses.
The dialogue focused on efforts to partner to increase vaccination uptake in long-term care settings during the fall and winter respiratory virus season, particularly given the shift of COVID-19 vaccines to the commercial market.
In the meeting, participants discussed operational challenges they are facing, including workforce shortages and opportunities to improve communication about access to Federal resources. They also highlighted successes and challenges during the initial phase of the transition of COVID-19 vaccines to the commercial market. Participants shared best practices and challenges from past and current efforts from increasing access to vaccines, to ensuring residents and staff have access to tests, to building trust in vaccines, to tackling challenges of administering the vaccine, to more education about the reimbursement process, and more standardized education and training for front line staff.
Senior White House Administration and Agency Officials thanked the leaders for their efforts to save lives and underscored our shared commitment to leveraging best practices and solving problems now and in the future as we continue our collective efforts to inform and protect older adults and other vulnerable Americans. Administration officials committed to an ongoing discussion with participants to track progress and address new concerns as they arise.
Administration Participants Included:
- Maj Gen (ret) Paul Friedrichs, MD, FACS, Deputy Assistant to the President, Director of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy, The White House
- Xavier Becerra, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, Director for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Maj Gen (ret) Stephen T. Rippe, Chief Executive Officer, Armed Forces Retirement Home, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
- Scotte R. Hartronft, MD, MBA, FACP, Executive Director, VA Office of Geriatrics & Extended Care, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Jonathan Blum, MPP, BA, Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, Acting Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Arjun Srinivasan, MD, Deputy Director for Program Improvement in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Maura Calsyn, JD, Deputy Administrator for Programs, Administration for Community Living (ACL)