WAVE Reminds Providers to Ask: What About Vaccines? Everytime!

Resources to Support Adult Vaccination

Vaccines are one of the safest and most convenient ways to prevent disease and maintain good health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults and children over 6 should receive at least one dose of the updated Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in order to be considered up to date. Because the virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing, protection from vaccines may diminish over time. Receiving an updated COVID-19 vaccine can offer protection against the variants currently responsible for most infections and hospitalizations. Along with COVID-19 vaccines, there are others that play a critical role in keeping adults healthy. These include the pneumovax vaccine which protects against pneumococcal disease; the annual influenza vaccine; and the newly approved respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines.

IPRO urges providers to remember the WAVE acronym. This encourages providers to ask: “What About Vaccines?” everytime at every patient encounter. Opening a dialogue about vaccines is the first step toward protecting the health and well-being of both patients and providers.

Paying for Vaccines

Most commercial insurance provides coverage for the COVID-19 vaccine. Medicare Part B covers vaccines and vaccine administration for:

  • Flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Hepatitis B (for individuals at high and intermediate risk)
  • COVID-19
  • Certain reasonable and necessary vaccines to treat an injury or exposure to a disease

Medicare Part D covers the RSV vaccine.

The Bridge Access Program provides free coverage for COVID-19 vaccines for uninsured and underinsured adults.

What Role do You Play?

Nursing homes, hospitals, home health agencies, physician offices and others in the community play a vital role in educating staff, patients, residents and families about the importance of receiving vaccines. As a trusted medical resource, clinical staff provide up-to-date, credible information as well as access to vaccines.

Here are a few ways in which nursing homes, hospitals and community-based providers can work to promote vaccine acceptance:

  • Educate your workforce, whom patients, residents and families know and trust, to use every interaction as an opportunity to make strong recommendations to receive all recommended vaccines;
  • Educate your workforce to answer questions about vaccine safety and efficacy;
  • Host on-site vaccine clinics;
  • Provide education to resident and family councils regarding vaccines;
  • Assess vaccination status as part of the admission and discharge process and document in the medical record.


IPRO’s Quest for Quality Podcast

Episode 1: Conversation with Stacy Gugino, MD, Medical Director at Brothers of Mercy Skilled Nursing Facility and Garden Gate Skilled Nursing Facility, about vaccine acceptance by patients and staff.

Episode 2: Conversation about COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in the long term care setting with Dr. Michelle Bellantoni, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

CMS Podcasts

CMS offers a series of podcasts focused on helping nursing homes across America improve Covid-19 outcomes.


Email us at ipronursinghometeam@ipro.org, or call us toll-free at 888-502-0566.