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Homebound Hoosiers to get COVID vaccine — at home

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- A plan by the state to help vaccinate some senior Hoosiers who aren't able to go to a COVID clinic to get the shot is designed to help protect them from the coronavirus.

As COVID-19 vaccine clinics across the state continue to administer hundreds, if not thousands, of shots a day many senior Hoosiers have gone to extaordinary lengths to get themselves there to get the shots.

"Anxiety level and then also being able to see their kids and their grandkids again. They've really played by the rules, and it's been an entire year since they've been able to do those thing," Maureen Widner said..

As COO of Aging & In-Home Services, Widner says case workers have called more than 3,000 older Hoosiers in nine counties to help them register for a COVID vaccine appointment.

She says in the process, they found that many of them are truly home bound and unable to go out to get vaccinated.

The state is partnering with local health departments to provide unused doses and paramedics to go to people's homes to give them their shots.

Since that is universal across Indiana, the state is partnering with local health departments to provide unused doses and paramedics to go to people's homes to give them their shots.

"It's going to take quite a coordination effort. And of course then you're pulling in the EMTs, as well. So you have to have EMTs available, vaccine available, and then be able to give doses in a particular area so you can use up all the doses," she said.

That's because as cautious as the vaccine clinics are not to waste doses, sometimes some are left over at the end of the day.

The state wants to make sure the shots get in the arms of Hoosiers who need them, and will call them to make sure they're available.

"There were two doses left in the vial then the EMTs could go out with those two doses and administer them to individuals who live close to one another," she said.

She says these are some of the most vulnerable Hoosiers who are much more likely not to survive if they get the virus.

And even though they're at home, they still come in contact with other people and could be exposed.

"They're homebound, so they most likely need caregivers, whether it's family caregivers or professional caregivers coming in to assist them. Somebody's got to bring them groceries, we've got home delivered meal drivers from our agency that go out every day and deliver meals," Widner explained.

Widner hopes the Homebound Hoosiers vaccination program could be up and running in the next few weeks.

If you are homebound -- or have a family member who is -- and would like to get the coronavirus vaccine, call Aging & In-Home Services at 1-800-552-3662.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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