Editor's note: The effort to provide COVID-19 vaccines to homebound seniors and disabled adults in Dallas County is being paused Tuesday due to new federal guidance concerning the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Texas is partnering with the State of Texas and area first responders to provide in-home COVID-19 vaccines to homebound seniors and disabled adults in Dallas County.
VNA began a pilot program administering vaccines in Meals on Wheels' clients' homes in mid-February, in partnership with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas National Guard, and DeSoto Fire Rescue
The initial group of 26 clients was vaccinated in February, and an additional 40 clients will be vaccinated on March 4 and 5 in DeSoto and Cedar Hill, VNA said.
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"The clients we serve through Meals on Wheels are the most vulnerable in our community-they are elderly and homebound, do not have access to technology for scheduling, suffer from multiple chronic conditions and reside in areas most impacted by the pandemic," Katherine Krause, VNA President & CEO, said. "We knock on their doors every day connecting them to food and resources and it is vital that we bring this life-saving vaccine to them."
According to VNA, clients are being contacted to determine interest in obtaining the vaccine, and they are provided with vaccine education to answer to any questions they may have.
A special route is established for the team from TDEM, TNG, DeSoto Fire Rescue and VNA staff to go to clients' homes and provide the first shot of the vaccine.
VNA said the clients are observed for any adverse reactions, and the second shot is scheduled before the team departs.
The initial rollout is taking place in the DeSoto and Cedar Hill areas, but VNA and TDEM are developing practices with the intention of providing vaccines to Meals on Wheels clients throughout Dallas County, VNA said.
"The Texas Division of Emergency Management appreciates the partnership of the Texas National Guard, local officials, first responders, and the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas to carry out Governor Abbott's 'Save Our Seniors' Initiative in North Texas," Josh Roberts, TDEM Region 1 Assistant Chief, said. "Working together we are able to identify and provide this life-saving vaccine to vulnerable homebound seniors across our region who have not yet had the opportunity to visit a vaccine provider in the community."