Augusta Health brings vaccines to the homebound

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 8:36 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Back in March, Augusta Health began a pilot program to vaccinate those who are homebound through Palliative Care staff.

The homebound program allows for those who are unable to physically attend vaccine clinics to have access to the vaccine.

“By virtue of being homebound [homebound patients] are not exposed to COVID-19 as readily as others who would be out in the community. Having said that, a lot of these folks have children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, who might readily expose them,” Dr. Chris Heck said.

Since the start of distribution, Augusta Health has distributed more than 55,000 vaccines through their vaccine clinics. Heck directs the team that administers the home vaccines.

Nurses for about two days per week administer 6-12 vaccines in patients’ homes.

Dr. Clint Merritt is the population health chief for the hospital. He says this program is just another tool to working toward the end of the pandemic.

“It’s a spectrum of turning out toward the community and figuring out many different ways to get to patients and offer, safely a COVID vaccine.” Dr. Merritt explained. “I think that is how we get to 75 percent immunity. We are going to have to do lots of different things.”

Dr. Merritt says since a majority of the vaccines being administered have not been the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

To learn more about how to get a vaccine to a homebound patient, officials say to call Augusta Health’s vaccine line at 540-332-5122, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To schedule an vaccine appointment with Augusta Health, click here.

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