DHS Clarifies Long-Term Care Recipients Eligibility for COVID Vaccine

A black person receives a vaccine shot.

In response to concerns raised by DRW, Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake has clarified that Family Care members, IRIS participants and older CLTS and Katie Beckett recipients are all eligible for COVID vaccine beginning on March 1, 2021.  Guidance from DHS from last week (week of February 22nd) indicated that recipients of long term care recipients would have to wait for vaccine until all teachers, child care workers, and people 65 and older had been vaccinated.  DHS had estimated that long term care recipients would not be vaccinated until “April and May.”

Secretary Timberlake has now categorically stated that there “is no ‘rigid prioritization’ of the March 1, eligibility group” (which included the long term care recipients) and that “Vaccinators are free to vaccinate anyone within the current or newly eligible groups consistent with available supply and locally developed strategies and plans.”

View DRW’s original letter to the DHS here (accessible PDF).

View Secretary Timberlake’s response here (accessible PDF).