Homebound residents express challenges with getting access to COVID-19 vaccine

Homebound residents express challenges with getting access to COVID-19 vaccine

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tuesday marks a week since the COVID-19 vaccine became available for every person in the state 16 and older.

For Curtin Moreland-Young, she didn’t have to think twice about whether she wanted to get vaccinated.

”I wanted to have the vaccine as soon as possible. I wanted my son to have the vaccine as soon as possible,” said Young, who’s a longtime Jackson resident. But there were a few hurdles that initially stood in the way.

Young is a caregiver for her son, who has autism. So she had to come up with a plan for the both of them.

”I actually had someone who took me and they kept my son,” Young described. “They let me out, they kept my son and kept him occupied so I could go get the shots.”

Though she came up with a plan that worked, Young said that situation prompted her to think about other homebound and disabled residents who want the shot, but can’t get to a vaccination site.

”If you are not mobile then it’s very difficult to go because how do you go?” Young asked.

That question led young to a few suggestions. She wants the state to look into delivery services such as mobile units or have home nurses vaccinating those who cannot make it out of their house.

”If we had someone to come to the home, or a mobile unit in the neighborhood, perhaps we could have been vaccinated at the same time,” said Young. “There would not have been this whole issue of having to have somebody who took care of him while I was having a shot.”

When asked what’s being done to help homebound or disable residents get access to the vaccine, the Mississippi Department of Health said it’s working with various partners to achieve this task.

“We have also asked home health agencies to assist,” said Liz Sharlot, who is director of the office of communications for the Mississippi State Department of Health. “The agency also has Centers of Excellence (COE’s) that are assigned to go out into the community for those unable to go to a specific location. The COE sites are listed on our website.”

MSDH encourages individuals who are homebound or disable to call their physician to aid in this endeavor or a hospital in the COE program.

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