On Monday, the first MOWCTX clients received their vaccines in their homes through the APH Mobile Vaccination Program. MOWCTX says it worked with APH to identify its most frail and medically compromised clients for the first round.
"The homebound older adults we serve at Meals on Wheels Central Texas are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 complications. This is why we believe it is critical that they have access to vaccines as soon as possible," said MOWCTX president and CEO Adam Hauser. "We are grateful for this collaboration with Austin Public Health that enables our most vulnerable clients to get vaccinated in their homes. The mobile vaccine program is part of our enduring partnership with the City of Austin to support homebound seniors in need in our community."
APH says that as more vaccines become available and the state expands vaccine eligibility, the program may be able to vaccinate entire households, not just the homebound patient. Currently, the program is able to distribute up to 400 vaccines a week, but APH will determine how much it will allocate as supply remains limited.
It also provides on-site vaccine clinics at Austin assisted-living and independent-living facilities for seniors.
"We need to meet people where they are," said APH director Stephanie Hayden-Howard. "With a pandemic, government agencies have to be more flexible with their operations than ever before, and we have to continue our holistic approach from large-scale vaccine operations to community partnerships with the Mobile Vaccine Program."
APH says approximately 66 MOWCTX clients were vaccinated Monday and the partnership will continue weekly through April. The first round of vaccinations will be in the central area and only clients in Travis County will be eligible for vaccines through this partnership.
APH says that spouses and caregivers can also be vaccinated if they fall in the 1B or 1C categories as outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The DSHS priority list is:
- 1a: Frontline healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities
- 1b: People 65+ or people 16+ with a health condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness or people who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.
- 1c: People age 50 to 64 years