Dallas launches new program to do COVID-19 vaccinations at home
UPDATE 4-13-2020: The City of Dallas and the Visiting Nurses Association of Texas (VNA) have paused the in-home vaccine rollout until further notice, following recommendations from the FDA and the CDC, due to clotting incidents with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The city of Dallas will launch a separate program to do COVID-19 vaccinations at people's homes.
The city has partnered with Visiting Nurse Association of Texas (VNA), a nonprofit that does outreach to elderly people. They'll identify Dallas residents who are unable to get to a vaccination site. The vaccinations will be deployed by Dallas Fire Rescue (DFR) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff and VNA staff.
They're going with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single dose. According to a release, they'll begin with 500 doses, allocated from Dallas County Health and Human Services.
The in-home vaccinations will begin on Tuesday, April 13, with six teams of EMS staff vaccinating 12 residents per day, based on availability of vaccine doses.
VNA offers Meals on Wheels in Dallas County, and VNA Hospice Care and Palliative Care in Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Henderson, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall, Tarrant, Van Zandt, and Wise Counties. So they're already in touch with Dallas residents who might lack transportation.
"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," says Katherine Krause, VNA President & CEO in a statement. "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."
"We thank the VNA for their partnership to equitably vaccinate our most vulnerable residents," said Rocky Vaz, Director of the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management says that this has been a high priority. "Working with the VNA allows us to provide vaccines to many who might not have been able to reach vaccine hubs or pharmacies any other way," Vaz says.
The city's previous vaccine initiatives include registration events and a partnership with Uber Technologies and Project Unity, a local nonprofit, to provide free rides to vaccination sites.
The city currently operates a drive-through vaccination hub at The Potter’s House in southern Dallas. The hub is operated by contract vendor American Medical Response (AMR), and is distributing 5,000 first doses of the Moderna vaccine by appointment only this week.
For more information on the City’s COVID-19 response efforts and vaccines, call 214-670-INFO (4636) or visit DallasCityHall.com/COVID19. To register for a vaccination, go to www.dallascountycovid.org or call 1-855-IMMUNE9 (855-466-8639) between 7 am-7 pm.