State agencies partner to get vaccines to homebound older adults

Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Human Services has somewhat of a built-in infrastructure for identifying and helping homebound and disabled seniors in several parts of the state.

There are 10 Area Agencies on Aging offices in the state.

“The AAAs...they provide transportation,” explained Mary Shearrill. “They provide transportation for doctor’s appointments, grocery store visits, visits in the community.”

Some of those offices had already started working to secure vaccine appointments for their clients. But...

“They needed to get the shots but it was a difficulty for them,” noted Shearrill.

From that was born the idea to partner with the Department of Health and pilot a program to connect those folks with vaccines. Here’s how it will work:

“We looked at a mobile unit that could travel across the state of Mississippi that could provide access to individuals who would not be able to drive themselves to a site to get the vaccinations,” added Shearrill. “What we are calling the mobile units, they are where they will set up at a designated location and participants will sign up beforehand so they’ll know how many vaccinations they’ll need at that site.”

The first pilot location being a collaboration with the North Delta Area Agency on Aging and staging a vaccine site at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Medical Clinic.

They’ve scheduled the appointments for this Wednesday and anticipate just under 150 folks will be transported to the clinic for shot number one.

The hope is to continue this model in other parts of the state.

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