Homebound people are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, and they are at risk of contracting the disease if a caregiver inadvertently brings it into their home. To protect this population, members of the House Calls team at UAB are bringing the vaccine to their patients and eligible caregivers.
The House Calls team, which includes a physician, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and a social worker, began administering vaccinations in patients' home on March 15, and so far, they have vaccinated 30 patients and caregivers and plan to administer up to 130 doses by mid-April.
"Most of our patients never leave their home due to extreme frailty, multiple chronic conditions, and functional and/or cognitive limitations. They are among the most vulnerable people in our area and are at the highest risk of serious illness and death from COVID," Marianthe Grammas, MD said. "Many of them are exposed to a number of different caregivers coming in and out of the home, all of whom have the potential to spread infection to the patient."
"It is also important to vaccinate the caregivers because many of them are homebound as they can't leave their loved one alone. Since we come to them, the caregivers don't have to worry about how they would get their loved one to a vaccine site for inoculation. In many of their situations, this would be nearly impossible."