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For Some Homebound Dallas Residents, COVID-19 Vaccinations Are On The Way

lines of vials of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
David Zalubowski
/
AP
The City of Dallas is partnering with the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas to provide Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine to homebound seniors.

The City of Dallas and the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas (VNA) are partnering to bring COVID-19 shots to homebound Dallas residents who can't reach a vaccination site or hub.

"There was always a great demand for people who could not come to hubs, whether it was a walkthrough or a drive-in," said Rocky Vaz, Director of the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management.

Dallas County Health and Human Services has allocated 500 of their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to provide Dallas residents in need of in-home vaccinations. These are single dose shots, which Vaz said would make the distribution a one-time visit.

"One of the factors that was holding us back was the availability of Johnson and Johnson, which is a one shot and done vaccine," Vaz said.

VNA will use their existing "Meals On Wheels" database to identify people who are at high risk or have underlying conditions.

"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," said Katherine Krause, VNA President & CEO in a statement.

Jennifer Atwood, managing director of development and communication at VNA, said they serve 4,500 Dallas County residents through heir meals on wheels program. Their job is to identify people and schedule EMT teams to administer vaccines. They've already helped launch a similar program in DeSoto and Duncanville.

"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," Krause said.

Dallas Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services staffers will help by going into homes to give the shot. There will be six teams going out and 12vaccines will be given daily. Each visit will be about 45 minutes, according to Vaz.

"Vaccines are the key to ending the terrible COVID-19 pandemic, and we are working hard to ensure everyone in our city has equitable access to these lifesaving triumphs of modern medicine," Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement.

In-home vaccination distribution starts on April 13.

You can register for the COVID-19 vaccination online at www.dallascountycovid.org or call 855-466-8639.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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