North Dakota: Long-Term Care Facility Partnerships


North Dakota


The North Dakota Department of Health aims to encourage and coordinate with long-term care facilities to build ongoing partnerships between peers and immunization providers.


Due to pharmacy ownership laws in North Dakota, only six pharmacies qualified for the Federal Pharmacy Program in 2020. These six pharmacies are spread between only four towns and are the only ones connected to large chains. As a result, many long-term care facilities were outside the pharmacy travel range. Communication issues were present, along with uncertainty around the vaccine allocation process and the total number of long-term care staff and residents in the state.


The North Dakota Department of Health collaborates with the Long-Term Care Association to coordinate and communicate between long-term care facilities, vaccinators, the Federal Pharmacy Program, and other local partners to ensure proper vaccine access and allocation to long-term care facilities across the state. Coordination efforts included collecting and managing a list of all North Dakota long-term care facilities, assigning primary and secondary vaccinators to each location, monitoring vaccine clinics, and reporting weekly to the HC Standard system. Further, scans of long-term care facilities were performed to assess individual needs and to ensure proper resource allocation. Questions in the scan included vaccine storage capabilities, current relationships with vaccine providers, plans to enroll in the Federal Pharmacy Program, number of staff and residents at each location, and general COVID-19 timelines and dates.

The initial coordination effort was implemented with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine in November 2020. This process was utilized during the rollout of the first and second COVID-19 booster shots. Funding for the project came from a COVID-19 grant.


Since the implementation of this project, data has shown that 93% of long-term care residents have completed the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 78% of residents have received their first booster. The project’s primary goal is to ensure that long-term care facilities take ownership of their immunization process. However, many facilities currently do not have the infrastructure to do so. Through the partnerships formed in this project, the North Dakota Department of Health is ready to assist if the need arises quickly.

Years: 2020, 2021

Locations: North Dakota

Programmatic Areas: Adult Immunization, COVID-19, Partnerships

Key Words: Communication, COVID-19, Partnership

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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