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State program opening up COVID-19 vaccines to homebound Hoosiers

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 12:26 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 00:27:03-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A state program is helping to make progress in vaccinating homebound Hoosiers for COVID-19.

According to information from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Homebound Hoosiers vaccination program is helping communities across the state by identifying residents who are unable to leave their homes and utilizing the vast EMS network to visit and administer vaccines.

IDHS said participants in the program must meet the current eligibility requirements set by the state, but they must also be physically unable to visit a vaccination clinic or do not have family or friends to help them register and travel to a site.

In order to help address the issue, Indiana's Area Agencies on Aging, the Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Indiana State Department of Health are registering these people separately and are directing resources to ensure they are prioritized for vaccination. Any available vaccines in those communities are then routed to a participating EMS agency to visit the home, administer the vaccine and monitor for any adverse reactions.

"The EMS system is the perfect partner for this program because it operates 24/7 across Indiana," Dr. Michael Kaufmann, medical director for Indiana EMS, said. "EMS personnel are highly trained members of the community and can serve an important role in reaching this critical population of Hoosiers."

As of Wednesday, more than 1,200 Indiana residents have been registered in the Homebound Hoosiers portal.

To get on the list for in-home vaccinations, interested individuals should contact their local Area Agency on Aging by calling 800-986-3505. Contact information is also available online.

The rate of in-home vaccinations will increase once vaccination supplies increase in the coming weeks, IDHS said.

"Nothing to do with this pandemic fits into a nice, neat box. We've had to be nimble and creative to approach this vaccination effort as quickly and strategically as possible," Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, secretary for FSSA, said.

Homebound Hoosiers vaccination process:

  • Homebound individual is registered with the local AAA.
  • Local health departments identify and locate available vaccine.
  • Individual is contacted to set up an appointment.
  • Vaccine is administered. On-site monitoring occurs.
  • EMS personnel provides checklist and completes documentation.
  • Second vaccine is scheduled on site.