New vaccine distribution program reaches hundreds of homebound Hoosiers in first week

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INDIANAPOLIS — In its first week, the Homebound Hoosiers vaccine distribution effort already delivered vaccine to more than 200 people. The state’s Department of Homeland Security reported as of Wednesday, 1,200 residents had been registered through the Homebound Hoosiers portal.

“To reach those members of our community that truly have chronic health conditions or disabilities that really prevent them from being mobile or from leaving their home,” Dr. Michael Kaufmann, State EMS Medical Director, said. “It’s to get them vaccine.”

Kaufmann said one of the main goals of the program is to prevent any doses from being wasted.

“This vaccine is really unlike any other that we’ve seen before with its very unique refrigeration requirements, its very unique distribution requirements,” Kaufmann explained. “It wouldn’t be uncommon for a dose or two of a vaccine to be wasted because they have to open a new vial at the end of each day. With no shows, cancellation, changes in people’s schedule, this program really serves to meet both of those needs and really reach people in their homes, in their communities.”

To sign-up, the state directs people to reach out to their local Area Agency on Aging by calling 800-986-3505 or visit the AAA regional map for contact information. To be eligible, a person must meet certain requirements, need special transportation or help to leave their home or has a medical condition that prevents them from leaving.

The Noblesville Fire Department will begin administering shots to registered homebound residents Monday. They said 14 people have already signed up.

Hamilton County homebound Hoosiers can reach out to the health department to schedule their vaccination by calling 317-776-8500 or 211 for help.

In Fishers, their fire and EMS staff began giving vaccines to people who were unable to leave their houses at the beginning of the month. They have provided vaccine to 100 people.

Their program differs a bit from the state, as they are not waiting until the end of the day to see if any vaccines are left over.

“The city wanted to be ahead of that and just schedule them into the normal vaccine schedule that our health department clinic has been running,” Capt. Joe Harding said.

People can find more information about the state’s vaccination program for homebound neighbors by visiting www.in.gov.

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