AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Moore County began vaccinating those in Phase 1A and 1B this week. But, while planning their clinic, realized they needed to find a way to vaccinate the most vulnerable community members, homebound seniors.
Homebound seniors are typically the most at risk for contracting COVID-19 due to the illnesses many already have. Some cannot leave their bed, have dementia, Alzheimer, or are immuno-compromised, so being around others is already a risk.
“At this time due to Texas regulations and government regulations, home health and hospices are not allowed to give the COVID vaccines to our patients,” said Jennefier Allison, Director at Memorial Home Health and Hospice in Moore County
She says that is why the partnership they created with the Moore County Hospital and Dumas Fire Department is crucial because they are allowed to administer the vaccine to these individuals.
Now, it was just a matter of figuring out how.
“Their families usually work, or they have a care giver that it may be very taxing for them to pick them up and put them into a car,” said Allison.
They decided the best solution was to take the vaccine directly to them.
Due to time being limited, they made the announcement of vaccine availability for homebound seniors through Facebook and had people sign up online. A nurse would then contact the applicant and arrange the time.
“There was a group of nurses and fire department ems that went to the patient’s homes to give the vaccine and carried the medication with them in case they had a reaction with it. They stayed with them for 15 to 30 minutes to make sure they didn’t have any reaction to them.” said Allison.
In total, Moore County has vaccinated 2,000 people and among those are the 39 homebound seniors who received the vaccine at home.
“We were limited unfortunately to how many vaccines we were going to have to begin with. So, we had to work with that limited number first, that was the first issue and unfortunately, I’m sure there were a few that were missed. So, we are looking into the possibility of maybe having another one in the future if the opportunity comes back.” said Caleb McCutchan, alternate director at Memorial Home Health and Hospice in Moore County.
He says that all depends on when and if they receive more doses but encourages community members to check the Facebook page for those updates and let their homebound family members know.
As a reminder, the Moore County Hospital has their last vaccine clinic for this allocation on Saturday for those in the Phase1A and 1B category staring at 8 in the morning at the Moore county community building.