Promoting COVID-19 Booster Vaccinations: Community and Provider Collaboration

Date: May 12, 2022
Time to read: 4 minutes.

**See our 9/16/22 blog post for updated information.

COVID-19 vaccination remains a key priority for Medicare and Medicaid Plans (MMPs) supporting individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. In early 2022, several MMPs across the country participated in conversations with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about COVID-19 booster vaccinations. These conversations highlighted the plans’ continued focus on collaboration with members’ communities and providers as a key strategy to ensure members receive their primary vaccination, including the second dose if applicable, as well as their booster vaccination.

Collaboration within Members’ Communities:

MMPs collaborated within communities to address members’ social determinants of health alongside booster vaccinations.1 Plans engaged in partnerships with food distribution services by providing flyers with information about booster vaccinations and listing vaccination locations. MMPs also co-located vaccine clinics with food distribution centers within communities to help promote booster vaccination and address food needs within member communities.

Partnering with community-based organizations (CBOs) or other entities that are familiar within the community and that members consider to be trusted sources of information can improve understanding of the importance of vaccination and increase access to vaccines.

  • One plan partnered with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to disseminate flyers with information and to host vaccination events.
  • Another plan partnered with local sports teams to educate members about and promote vaccination.

Strategies to collaborate within member communities also include partnering with local government entities or CBOs to coordinate pop-up vaccine clinics or offering extended vaccine clinic hours.

  • One plan offered both flu and COVID-19 vaccination at the same event.
  • Another plan leveraged their Community Engagement team to collaborate with partners on choosing locations, staffing, and promoting vaccine events.
  • Gateway Health previously shared their promising practices for hosting vaccination clinics and leveraging relationships with community partners via a blog post.

Tips for health plans on hosting a vaccination event are available here.

Collaboration with Providers: 

MMPs conveyed information on COVID-19 vaccination to providers in plan newsletters. MMPs also offered providers materials and articles highlighting accurate information that providers could share with patients to help promote patient confidence in the safety of the vaccine.

  • One plan also used their newsletter to inform providers about how to become a COVID-19 vaccinator, and shared tips for encouraging patient vaccinations.
  • Another plan developed up-to-date, direct mail messaging promoting boosters based on the decreased risk of serious disease following booster vaccination.2

As highlighted in a previous blog post, plans use data to identify unvaccinated members and prioritize outreach or education. One plan shared member-level immunization records with provider groups to disseminate to primary care providers (PCP) that engage in direct member care.

Sharing Resources at the State or National Level: 

Looking beyond their members’ local communities, one plan shared information about vaccine clinics across their state service area so that care coordinators could direct members to the most appropriate location. Plans also provided information about the free, at-home rapid tests available through the Federal Government (also discussed in a prior blog post).

  • One plan updated resources for its member-facing teams to provide this information to members, while another shared links with care managers and coordinators.
  • One MMP also engaged with their state health department to coordinate in-home vaccinations for members who may have trouble leaving their home.

These efforts ensured that staff were prepared with up-to-date, useful information to support members when they expressed an interest in tests and to connect members to get tests at local pharmacies. Other strategies for home-based vaccination are discussed in past RIC blog posts.3,4

[1] For more information on how plans address social determinants of health, Resources for Integrated Care (RIC) previously shared strategies to vaccinate members experiencing homelessness and promoting vaccination among racial and ethnic minorities.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2023). Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines. Retrieved from