Vaccine struggles for local homebound seniors

COVID-19 Vaccine

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Local homebound seniors are finding it difficult to get a COVID-19 vaccine. They’re eligible but unable to physically get to the clinics.

A few families reached out to 10 On Your Side about difficulties getting vaccines for loved ones. One of those was Darlene Lee.

Lee’s 94-year-old mother, Rosie Lucas, of York County is bedridden. Lee says getting her to a clinic is near impossible.

When homebound seniors register like Lucas register with the Virginia Department of Health, they can check a “disability” box. Officials say the box is for people who may need help with transportation to and from clinics or need someone to give them the shot at home.

But turning the checked box into a home visit doesn’t appear to be happening for many local seniors.

Officials with York County tell us they have yet to finalize a system to reach homebound seniors in the county. Which explains Lucas’ struggles.

York County recently entered into a regional partnership with the Peninsula Health District, Sentara, Riverside Health Systems and more to work out vaccination issues like reaching homebound seniors.

“That’s a needed thing that should have been on the books at the beginning,” said Lee. “But that’s OK, it’s never too late to start.” 

York County and other Hampton Roads cities appear to be late to the game.

Chesterfield County already announced a program with their Fire and EMS to get vaccines to their homebound seniors. They even created a special email for people to get registered

Winchester in northern Virginia has a similar program in play, using nurses and Winchester sheriff’s deputies to give vaccines at homes.

While York County figures out their approach, Rosie Lucas and other’s in similar situations will wait.

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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