COVID-19 Vaccination Program for Homebound Older Adults
Ken Wilson, Vice President of Program Operations
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council on Aging (COA) went above and beyond for the older adults in our community. Seeing that the 65+ population was the segment of the population most impacted by severe illness and death from COVID-19, COA acted quickly to implement programs for social and nutritional needs of older adults. When vaccines became available to older adults, COA partnered with local public health agencies, the National Guard and other providers to quickly vaccinate and protect our older adult population. They were also instrumental in helping older adults navigate technology and complex registration requirements – making sure no one was left behind from accessing lifesaving vaccines.
COA established a process to receive homebound vaccination referrals from both internal clients and outside social service agencies. They created a standard protocol and database at the regional level, which incorporated a quality assurance process. This process ensured people who were added to the homebound vaccination list – actually received their shot. They consistently addressed the needs of a highly vulnerable population that was not being served or considered through other vaccination efforts.
Because of the COA's efforts, no doubt many of our seniors were saved from contracting COVID-19.