An email summarizing the latest news and resources on COVID vaccination for nursing homes. ​​​​

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Questions for
 the Alliant Boost Team? Email 

March 14, 2023​​​​​

In this Issue

Register for Upcoming Give the Boost a Shot Events 

  • Thursday, March 16, 2023 from 2:00-3:00pm ET/ 1:00-2:00pm CT: NHSN Shop Talk: COVID-19 Pathway & Vaccine Module REGISTER *ANCC Contact Hours & NAB Credits Awarded*
    • This month, Donald Chitanda, MPH CIC LTC-CIP ~ Technical Advisor, Infection Prevention-Alliant Health will guide the discussion; providing updates on the NHSN database and CMS requirements, as well as review new COVID-19 Pathway & Weekly Vaccination Module changes.
  • Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 2:00-2:45pm ET/ 1:00-1:45pm CT: Give the Boost a Shot: Moving Forward with Patient Safety from COVID-19 REGISTER *ANCC Contact Hours Awarded*
    Give the Boost a Shot: Vax and Pax Toolkit: Moving Forward with Patient Safety from COVID-19

    Featuring: Swati Gaur, MD, MBA, CMD, AGSF


    *ANCC Contact Hours Awarded*

  • Best Practice of the Week/ Center Highlight of the Week
    • Collaborating with the Pharmacy in Tennessee
    • Has your facility been successful in achieving your goals for your resident’s booster rates? Please share how you achieved success, helping to spread success by sharing with your peers!
  • Latest Guidance/Updates
    • Recording: Special CMS Roundtable: Improve COVID-19 Booster Rates and Use of Therapeutics by Residents and Staff in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Settings 
    • COVID-19 tied to greater risk of diabetes, but COVID-19 vaccination diminishes risk
    • CDC Have a Plan
    • CMS Resources to Prepare for the May 11 End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and National Emergency
    • CDC adds COVID-19 vaccines to routine immunization schedules for children, adults
    • CDC Launches Website to Help Consumers Find Free COVID-19 Testing Sites
    • CMS Audio Series: Trusted and Accurate Information on COVID
    • FDA proposes annual COVID-19 vaccine regimen
    • CMS: Quality in Focus (QIF) Provider/Supplier Training
    • Know Your COVID-19 Community Level
  • Materials & Resources
    • Take 5 videos on therapeutics
    • Bivalent Myths and Facts
    • Share with Friends & Family: Finding an Updated Bivalent Booster
    • Vaccination Weeks of Action
    • Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work
    • COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Calculator
    • The Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool
    • Poster: Why I Got Vaccinated
    • Click HERE or visit to download helpful resources and materials.

  • Check in: How are we doing? Are you finding the events and materials helpful? Please click here to share feedback with us.

  • Give the Boost a Shot Event Recordings

  • About Give the Boost a Shot

Best Practice/Center of the Week

NHC Healthcare in Cookeville, Tennessee had a Bivalent referral baseline of 2.75% on 10/9/22. Initially, the home reported low vaccine confidence as a barrier, as well as residents not wanting to get the flu and bivalent vaccine at the same time. Despite this challenge, the home increased their rates from 2.75% to 49.5%, exceeding the Tennessee average of 45.3%. The home attributed their success to their infection preventionist's desire to see the up-to-date numbers increase. In addition, the home noted that they constantly look for ways to be more effective by maintaining a collaborative relationship with a pharmacy that is willing to come onsite and administrator doses, which greatly impacted their success. 

If your facility needs assistance with increasing your COVID-19 booster rates, please reach out to us at

Latest Guidance/Updates
  • Recording: Special CMS Roundtable: Improve COVID-19 Booster Rates and Use of Therapeutics by Residents and Staff in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Settings 
  • COVID-19 tied to greater risk of diabetes, but COVID-19 vaccination diminishes risk
    CNN (2/14, Goodman) reports people who have had COVID-19 “have a higher risk of developing diabetes, and that link seems to have persisted into the Omicron era, a new study” published in JAMA Network Open found. The researchers found COVID-19 “increased the odds of a new diabetes diagnosis by an average of about 58%.”
    Healio (2/14, Monostra) reports the study specifically found “adults who contract COVID-19 have a higher risk for developing incident diabetes in the 90 days after the infection compared with before the infection.”
    Medscape (2/14, Tucker, Subscription Publication) reports the study also found “vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 appears to diminish” the likelihood of “diabetes following COVID-19 infection.”

  • CDC Have a Plan: Put together your COVID-19 plan so you have all the information you need on hand if you get sick with COVID-19. Download, edit and save, and share your plan with your family, friends, and healthcare provider. Read More
  • CMS Resources to Prepare for the May 11 End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and National Emergency: Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19, declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. To ensure a smooth transition and help protect the health and well-being of the American people, CMS has taken immediate action to update fact sheets and other supporting resources to prepare for changes that will occur beginning on May 11.
  • CDC adds COVID-19 vaccines to routine immunization schedules for children, adults: CNN (2/9, Chavez) reports “COVID-19 shots are included in new schedules of routinely recommended vaccines released by the” CDC Thursday. These “immunization schedules summarize current vaccine recommendations for children, adolescents and adults, but do not set vaccine requirements for schools or workplaces.” Key updates “to the schedules, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Thursday, include the addition of COVID-19 primary vaccine series and recommendations on booster dose vaccination; updated guidance on influenza and pneumococcal vaccines; and new vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and for hepatitis B.”
  • CDC Launches Website to Help Consumers Find Free COVID-19 Testing Sites: The Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program provides no-cost testing sites to communities greatly affected by the pandemic. ICATT sites operate as a partnership between the federal government, state and local jurisdictions, and a federal testing contractor. The ICATT program provides testing resources for people who are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. People without health insurance do not have to pay for COVID-19 testing at ICATT locations. The tests are billed to third-party payers, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurers, to increase program sustainability. For more information about the CDC Testing Locator website, visit For more information about the ICATT program, visit
  • QIO Program Audio Series: Trusted and Accurate Information on COVID
    Last December, as a result of discussions among QIOs, various stakeholders and providers, and as part of the larger Whitehouse Vaccine Sprint, the QIO Program developed an audio series with trusted, accurate information to guide nursing home staff and residents. Below are the latest episodes. Listen to all episodes here.
    • Episode 4: From the Field - Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in a High-Turnover Population
    • Episode 5: From the Field - Boosting Vaccine Confidence Using Motivational Interviewing and Peer Ambassadors
    • Episode 6: From the Field - It Starts with Your Staff: Stopping the Spread of COVID-19
    • Episode 7: From the Field - Best Practices for Cohorting and Infection Prevention
    • Episode 8: From the Field - A Culturally Inclusive Approach to Address Health Equity and Increase Vaccine Confidence
  • FDA proposes annual COVID-19 vaccine regimen
    • The Washington Post (1/23, A1, McGinley) reports, “Americans would receive an annual vaccine to protect against the coronavirus under a once-a-year regimen akin to what is used for influenza shots, according to a new strategy outlined Monday by the Food and Drug Administration.” The FDA, “in briefing documents released in advance of a meeting this week with its vaccine advisers, said the goal is to determine in the spring which strain will pose the greatest threat the following winter.” The Post adds, “A vaccine targeting that strain would then be administered in the fall, in the hopes that a streamlined effort would encourage vaccine uptake.”
    • Reuters (1/23, Leo) reports the FDA “also asked its panel of external advisers to consider the usage of two COVID vaccine shots a year for some young children, older adults and persons with compromised immunity.” Reuters adds, “If the panel votes in favor of the proposal, Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc’s bivalent vaccines, which target both the Omicron and the original variants, would be used for all COVID vaccine doses, and not just as boosters.”
  • Quality in Focus (QIF) Provider/Supplier Training
    • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a series of interactive videos called “Quality in Focus” (QIF) on the Quality, Safety & Education Portal (QSEP). The 10-15 minute videos are self-paced. They will help providers and suppliers participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs better understand how to improve health and safety in facilities.
    • The QIF series aims to increase the quality of care for people with Medicare and Medicaid by reducing the deficiencies most commonly cited during the CMS survey process, such as infection control and accident prevention. These resources will help providers and suppliers better understand surveyor evaluation criteria, recognize deficiencies, and incorporate solutions into their facilities’ standards of care, so they are more equipped to meet health and safety guidelines.
    • The QIF interactive videos are tailored for specific provider and supplier types, with 1-3 videos per type. Each interactive video focuses on a specific health or safety citation with the goal of identifying and resolving these deficiencies. QIF interactive videos are currently available for:
      • Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Infection Control Citations
      • Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (IICF/IID) Program Implementation Citations
      • Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) Local, State, Tribal Collaboration Process Citations -
      • Hospice Plan of Care Citations - Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) Post-Intervention Debriefing Citations
      • Long Term Care (LTC) Treatment and Prevention of Pressure Ulcer Citations
      • LTC Free of Accident Citations
      • LTC Medication Error Citations
      • Outpatient Physical Therapy (OPT) Equipment, Buildings, and Grounds Maintenance Citations
      • Comprehensive Outreach Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) Local, State, Tribal Collaboration Process Citations
      • Home Health Agency (HHA) Incomplete Individualized Plan of Care Citations
      • Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Preventative Maintenance Program Citations
      • Portable X-ray Personnel Monitoring Citations
      • End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Cleaning and Disinfecting Citations ---- Hospital Patient Safety
    • Please note that the information in the interactive videos is for informational purposes and is not meant to take the place of statutes, regulations, or official CMS policy. Visit the Quality, Safety & Education Portal (QSEP) Training Catalog at to access the “Quality in Focus” interactive videos. The videos can be found under the Quality in Focus tab. text
  • Know Your COVID-19 Community Level: CDC's COVID-19 Community Levels are a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. COVID-19 County Check

Materials & Resources
​​​​​​Take 5​​​​​​ Video Playlist 
  • These short videos cover some of the frequently asked questions and common concerns we've from nursing homes across the states we serve related COVID-19 and vaccination. These videos provide quick, to-the-point information and advice to tackle questions and concerns. We will update the list of modules each week! Watch them here.
    • Take 5 Plus: An Update on use of Therapeutics with the Omicron Variant - watch
    • Take 5:  A message from Dr. Swati Gaur, Nursing Home Medical Director: Protecting your loved ones in 2023 - watch
  • Bivalent Myths and Facts Flyers: Please print, post, and share these short flyers debunking the myths and misconceptions about the Bivalent Boosters.
  • Share with Friends & Family: Finding an Updated Bivalent COVID-19 Booster
    CDC recommends that people ages 5 years and older receive one updated (bivalent) booster if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was:
    • Their final primary series dose, or
    • An original (monovalent) booster
    • People who have gotten more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.
    • To find an updated bivalent booster:
      • Search
      • Text your zip code to 438829
      • Call 1-800-232-0233
  • Vaccination Weeks of Action: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) kicked off the Vaccination Weeks of Action campaign on October 13, 2022, to encourage more people to get the updated COVID-19 booster. The following resources are available to help providers, community-based organizations and others actively promote the updated booster and build vaccine confidence during these weeks of action:
  • Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work: This website page provides resources and information about how vaccines work. Visit Website
  • COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Calculator: CDC’s COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation calculator takes the stress out of deciding when, and for how long, people with COVID-19 and close contacts need to stay home, get tested, and wear a well-fitting mask.
  • The Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool: CDC’s Adult Vaccine Quiz helps you create a list of vaccines you may need based on your age, health conditions, and more. Click here to take the quiz now!
  • Poster: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster: Why Should I Get Boosted? Download | In Spanish
  • Click HERE or visit to download helpful resources and materials.

Upcoming Give the Boost a Shot Virtual Events ​​​​​​*ANCC Contact Hours Awarded* ​​​​​​

New! Register once for the series and receive reminders! We will continue to record the events and post them to YouTube, just in case you cannot make one of the sessions.
First & Last Thursdays
2:00-2:45pm ET/ 1:00-1:45pm CT
Give the Boost a Shot
*ANCC Contact Hours Awarded*
Third Thursdays
2-3 ​​​​p.m. ET/ 
1-2 p.m. CT
NHSN Shop Talk
*ANCC Contact Hours & NAB Credits Awarded*
Give the Boost a Shot Event Recordings ​​​​​​
All Give the Boost a Shot Recordings are available at this YouTube Playlist. Subscribe to the channel and receive notifications when new recordings are posted. The latest recordings are listed below. 
  • Improving Immunization Rates in PALTC
  • New Toolkit That Will Help with Increasing All Immunization Rates in Your Facility
  • BOOSTing IPC Basics: Importance of Infection Prevention & Control Strategies for COVID Outbreaks
  • Give the Boost a Shot: How To Use Available Treatments to Decrease Impact of Covid-19 Outbreaks
  • How To Increase The Number of Your Residents “Up To Date” By Overcoming Family Objections To “Another Shot” 

About the Give the Shot a Boost Program

Alliant Health Solutions received a direct change order from CMS to provide support to nursing homes to help accelerate resident vaccination rates. This intensive program includes the following services and activities:

  • Second Tuesday: You will receive a weekly email bulletin dedicated to this program with the latest updates and tools you can use to help increase vaccination and booster rates.
  • Twice monthly educational events and dedicated time to ask questions.
  • A dedicated website page with resources and materials.
  • Access to experts in epidemiology, quality improvement, and infection control. 

Watch event recordings and bite-size learnings on Alliant's YouTube channel.

For more information about Alliant Health Solutions, visit the website:

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This material was prepared by Alliant Health Solutions, a Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN – QIO) under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Views expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of CMS or HHS, and any reference to a specific product or entity herein does not constitute endorsement of that product or entity by CMS or HHS. 
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