Social Workers and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Jan 8, 2021

Updated January 26, 2021

Many social workers have begun receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine distribution is being managed in phases and groups on a state level. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) anticipates social workers fall in every phase depending on population served, level of direct client interaction, work setting, age and health status.

Preparing injection with covid-19 vaccineHow quickly social workers are inoculated and move through each phase will depend on the available vaccine supply and individual state mandates. Currently, supplies are very limited. The federal government notifies states weekly of how much vaccine they will receive.

Where will I be able to get vaccinated?

Currently, vaccines are being sent to providers nationwide based on their ability to reach prioritized populations. Health care workers at highest risk for COVID-19 exposure and long-term care staff and residents are being vaccinated in hospitals, local health departments, or at their long-term care facilities. As vaccines become more widely available, vaccinations will be offered to everyone who wants one in clinics and pharmacies, as well as vaccination events in communities.

NASW urges social workers to check with their individual health care providers and state health departments. Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has advised that NASW chapters reach out to the vaccine coordinating committee in their state with any requests around prioritizing the social work workforce, since the states are in charge of vaccine deployment for their populations.

COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ

NASW developed a January 2021 Practice Alert for social work practitioners to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available and general eligibility guidelines to access a vaccine in the initial phases of distribution. NASW encourages individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when they meet their state’s eligibility criteria. NASW is advocating for vaccine access for social workers and populations that are at high-risk for COVID-19. NASW will continue to monitor federal and state vaccine distribution plans.

For more information, see NASW’s COVID-19 resources.

CMS Webinar on COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

On January 27, CMS will hold a webinar “COVID-19 Vaccine Safety: A Fireside Chat with CMS, CDC, and front line staff and providers.”

Register in advance for this webinar
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the meeting. This chat will continue to address myths surrounding vaccine danger with the following panelist:

  • Dr. Lee Fleisher, CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director, Center for Clinical Standards  and Quality (CMS)
  • Dr. Amanda Cohn, Chief Medical Officer (Acting), Office of Vaccine Policy, Preparedness, and Global Health, Office of the Director (CDC)
  • Roberta Jaramillo, Environmental Services District Manager, HealthCare Services Group

Webinar: “COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment”

Register for this February 8 webinar to learn about social work’s role in the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine. Offered by the NASW Maryland Chapter.