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Homebound seniors are still waiting for Covid-19 vaccines, so doctors and nurses are going to them

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.3%. 1 min read.

Dr. Steven Landers, president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, administers the covid-19 vaccine to Sam Ferguson of Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Michele Scialabba)

Opening another front in the nation's response to the pandemic, medical centers and other health organizations have begun sending doctors and nurses to apartment buildings and private homes to vaccinate homebound seniors.

(KHN)Opening another front in the nation's response to the pandemic, medical centers and other health organizations have begun sending doctors and nurses to apartment buildings and private homes to vaccinate homebound seniors.

Nationally, the Department of Veterans Affairs has provided more than 11,000 vaccines to veterans who receive primary medical care at home.

Yet, unlike similarly frail nursing home patients, they haven't been recognized as a priority group for vaccines, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only recently offered guidance on serving them.

"This is a hidden group that's going to be overlooked if we don't step up efforts to reach them," said Dr. Steven Landers, president and CEO of Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, which provides home health and hospice care to over 10,000 people in New Jersey, northeastern Ohio and southeastern Florida.

His organization plans to launch a pilot home vaccination program for frail patients next week.

At the top of the list: Home care agencies and hospice organizations don't have access to covid vaccines either for their staff or patients.

"There is no distribution of vaccines to our members, and there has been no planning surrounding meeting the needs of the people we serve," said William Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

It's essential to reach out to patients like Gareffa, said Lee, a geriatrician who works with the Boston Medical Center's home-based program.

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