May 20, 2021
Philadelphia launched a new program Wednesday to provide housebound people access to the COVID-19 vaccine, making sure that every resident that wants a shot can get one.
The Homebound Vaccination Program will help the city reach an estimated 7,400 homebound people, including the elderly and people with disabilities.
The city health department has been piloting the program with Penn Medicine at Home and the Philadelphia Fire Department for a few weeks, James Garrow, communications director at the Philadelphia Department of Health, told PhillyVoice.
People interested in getting vaccinated at home can sign up online or can call (215) 685-5488 to set up an appointment.
A vaccination provider then comes out to a person's home and vaccinates them and their caretakers, staying through the prescribed monitoring time.
The program is geared toward people who are normally unable to leave their home without help, or who haven't left their house in the past month because of their disability.
Vaccine providers who have the capacity and interest to vaccinate this population applied to partner with the health department to administer the shots. So far, 21 providers have applied and eight have been approved, Garrow said.
"The reason we have to go through an application process with these providers is to make sure that we can safely and securely send information about people looking to be vaccinated to them," he said. "At the same time, we have opened a registry that homebound Philadelphians and their caretakers can use to sign up to be connected with one of these providers."
Garrow said the city is conducting outreach to providers and community organizations to spread the word about the program. Providers interested in partnering with the city can apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This initiative comes as health departments across the country are pushing for more people to get their COVID-19 vaccines. In Philadelphia, 851,476 people have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine, and 633,585 people are fully vaccinated as of May 17.