Cornerstone VNA is pleased to announce that the COVID-19 vaccine is now being administered to our homebound patients. On March 17, Cornerstone VNA’s Quality Improvement Director, June Gallup, RN, MS, made her first stop at a patient’s home in Farmington, who was thrilled to receive her first dose. New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) reporter, Alli Fam, joined Gallup to document this important milestone in distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to homebound patients.
When the patient was asked by the NHPR reporter what it meant to get the vaccine in her home, as opposed to going elsewhere, Audrey replied, “Oh, wonderful! I was so worried. I don’t walk well anymore, and I get extremely tired every time I have to go out. I kept thinking, ‘how am I going to get to a clinic to get my shot?’ And when they told me I could get it at home, I was very happy.” Audrey added, “It’s made a world of difference. The walking would have been very difficult for me to get to a clinic. It’s wonderful.”
Cornerstone VNA has been working closely with the State and Regional Public Health Networks, as well as the Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance of NH on a plan to get vaccines for truly homebound patients, and their eligible caregivers, who cannot get to a fixed vaccine distribution site. Due to strict COVID-19 protocols, administering vaccines at home takes an extremely coordinated effort. Cornerstone VNA nurses travel to patient homes, fill out the required paperwork, and then wait 15-30 minutes after the vaccination is given to be sure the patient does not have an adverse reaction. Additionally, with any of the COVID-19 vaccines, there is a time limit of 6 hours to use all the doses from the time the first dose is drawn up from the vial.
Cornerstone VNA’s COVID-19 Response Coordinator is managing a list of patients who have documented their desire to get vaccinated at home. Due to the time sensitive nature of administering the vaccine, the Response Coordinator is scheduling patients who live within a close proximity to one another. In addition to Gallup, Sandy Powers, RN, Wellness and Gerontology Nurse, and Home Care Team Manager, Lisa Romanovitz, RN, will join in the effort to administer vaccines to patients at home. In a significant and poignant show of support, two Cornerstone VNA retired nurses have offered to temporarily return to assist the COVID-19 vaccination team if needed.
According to Gallup, “I am very excited that we as an agency will be able to help get people vaccinated. I am grateful to the State of NH, Public Health Networks, and more importantly the staff at Cornerstone VNA who have worked together to make this a reality. I am proud to do my part to be part of the solution.” Gallup adds, “The opportunity to administer the vaccine to our most vulnerable homebound citizens is a reward in itself, but the hope that we all feel in moving past this pandemic is what gets us all through these challenging times.”
To learn more, call 800-691-1133 or visit cornerstonevna.org/covid-19.