STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — The Virginia Department of Health’s Central Shenandoah Health District is working with local home care services to make sure those who cannot physically attend vaccine clinics have a chance to be vaccinated.
With the aid of Shenandoah Valley Home Health, CSHD is aiming to identify those who are homebound and how best to help them.
“We will be sending a health department nurse and one of their staff members to go to those identified patients and meet their needs as best we can by providing them the vaccine at their home,” Laura Lee Wight with CSHD explained.
District leaders say as of now the initiative is just a pilot program.
Wight says that they will be working with other community partners to ensure those homebound or those who face other barriers in trying to be vaccinated are taken care of.
“We are also working with Valley Program Aging Services as well as other healthcare partners to try and meet other barriers such as transportation. Maybe someone is able to get to a clinic, but they don’t have a ride to get there so this is just one of many different outreach efforts,” Wight added.
According to district leaders, CSHD defines homebound through various criteria.
“The patient must, because of illness or injury, need the aid of supportive devices such as crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and walkers; the use of special transportation; or the assistance of another person in order to leave their place of residence. Or have a condition such that leaving his or her home is medically contraindicated.”
If the patient meets one of the first set of criteria conditions then the patient must meet both requirements defined in criteria two.
“There is a normal inability to leave home and leaving home must require a considerable taxing effort.”
Wight says while the partnership with Shenandoah Valley Home Health is just a pilot program, everyone should still preregister for the vaccine through the state’s website. She says the state is also working on its own resources for the homebound.
To preregister, click here.