A vial of vaccine. Five elderly homebound patients. Six hours to get them before the vaccine goes bad.
Doctors at Northwell Health, New York State’s largest heath care provider, were scheduled to vaccinate against coronovirus in the US last week to solve one of the campaign’s most appalling medical and logistical challenges: how to vaccinate millions of seniors Jaye is home and very weak or unable to go to a clinic or queue at a vaccination site.
Members of the network’s home call program prepared for their first run. The supply of the new Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus vaccine made the operation easier, as a visit would do the trick.
A medical team mapped out a route that would include a group of homes not too far from each other, starting with older patients who are at least in the community most vulnerable to the virus. The doctors approached the patients well before the visit, knowing that they would need a lot of time to consult with their family about getting vaccinated. Only a few turned them down; Most were enthusiastic.
Before doctors came on the road, they checked patients on the phone to make sure they were relatively healthy. Any unexpected problems were to be avoided. The doctors were running against the clock: once they perforated the seal on the vial and drew the first dose, they had only six hours to use the remaining vaccine, or they would have to throw it out.
“We must have been driving a tight ship, I think, but very kindly,” Dr. Said Karen Abraskin, the program’s medical director, as a heavy, high-tech cooler – actually, a car refrigerator – was loaded onto the back seat of her car last Wednesday and plugged into a cigarette lighter. did.
Inside was the size of a vial, containing five doses of the vaccine. “It’s a historic moment,” she said.
His first stop was Twifer, a married couple’s home in Hampstead, N.Y. Hector Hernández, 81, a retired window cleaner who cleaned tall buildings in Manhattan, and his wife, Irma, 80, was a retired seamstress, friends and Through a kind of conflicting advice of the family decided to vaccinate, through Pottery.
“At first I doubted – is it safe?” Mr. Hernandez said. Two friends warned him to be careful because the vaccine was new. But Mrs. Hernandez’s cardiologist assured the couple to be safe, and another friend was confident that it was better to get the vaccine, not to receive it.
The couple’s granddaughters, one of whom was housed with Kovid-19 for two weeks, waited to see if the vaccine had long-term side effects. Finally, Mr. Hernandez said, his daughter persuaded him to vaccinate.
Mr. Hernandez said, “He called and said, ‘You have to get it done, because if you ever get a kovid, it can get really bad – you can’t breathe.”
As Dr. Abraskin perforated the vial seal with a syringe, with him a social worker Lorraine Richardson looking under time: at 10:11 am the two would monitor Hernandez for side effects for 15 minutes, and then hit the road. He had until 4:11 pm to reach three more patients.
At least two million Americans such as Hernández are homebound, a population all but invisible. Most suffer from several chronic conditions, but cannot find primary care services in their home. They often wind up in hospitals, and their illness leaves them Vulnerable to coronovirus.
When public health officials devised a plan for the distribution of vaccines, about five million residents and staff in congregation settings such as nursing homes were given priority, where the epidemic spread like wildfire during the early days of the epidemic. The virus killed at least 172,000 residents and employees One third of all Kovid-19 deaths. In the United States.
A vast majority of Americans over 65, however, do not live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but in a community where it is more challenging to reach them. There is no central registry of homebound elderly. Geographically dispersed and isolated, they are often difficult to find.
“This could be the next major obstacle for a large population,” said Tricia Neumann, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Such a rollout of vaccination has been a screwwork at the state or local level, but it presents a whole set of challenges.”
Immediately there has been a rapid increase in the rate of vaccination among seniors with at least 60 percent vaccination. There is no system to reach the homebuyer, Drs. Neuman said: “Some people simply cannot bring themselves to the vaccination site, so the challenge is giving them the vaccine, where they live.”
In the absence of a center-coordinated campaign targeting homebound, local initiatives have spread across the country. fire Department Paramedics Vaccining Homebound Seniors In Miami Beach, Fla. And Chicago. An aged nurse service located through the Meals on Wheels program in East St. Louis, Ill. Vaccinates older adults.
Many health systems, such as Gissinger Health in Pennsylvania and Boston Medical Center, Hundreds of homebound Americans have been identified And send them vaccines. In Minnesota, nonprofits have started pop-up vaccination clinics in senior apartment buildings and adult day care centers.
On Monday, New York City announced that it was expanding efforts to go door-to-door to vaccinate homebound seniors, with plans to reach at least 23,000 residents. The visiting doctors’ program at Mount Sinai, New York, which cares for 1,200 homebuyer residents, has vaccinated 185 patients and received them as Mt.’s clinical director, Dr. According to Linda DeCreary, caregivers of senior citizens have been given the greenlight to vaccinate. Sinai in Home Program.
Northwell’s home call program, which cares for patients in Queens, Manhattan and Long Island, plans to vaccinate up to 100 patients a week over the next 10 weeks if nurses are rescued to develop adverse reactions to patients The timetable can be speeded up if medicines are allowed to be taken. Like anaphylactic shock.
While Drs. Abraskin was vaccinated on Long Island last week, Drs. Constantino Deligianidis, a colleague, was vaccinating five elderly women in Brentwood, NY who were in the area during four hours.
“They were very relieved,” he said. “They were all worried – how could they get the vaccine because they couldn’t get out of the house?”
Dr. Abraskin and Ms. Richardson visited and vaccinated – two more elderly women on Wednesday, making their final stop in the plant-filled kitchen of Sunny, a 73-year-old retired computer science and business teacher from Junita Midgate who counts Eddie. before. Murphy among his previous students. (Spoiler Alert: She was a respectable student, she said, and recommended her new film, “Coming to America”.)
At 12:31 pm when they knocked on the door. Ms. Midgate had heard mixed reviews about the coronovirus vaccine, and was talking about it with her sister. But she was unable to travel to her native North Carolina and travel with relatives since the epidemic, and she hoped the vaccine would give her the freedom to do so.
She believed in God, and in science. Ms Midgate said her research into vaccines led her to conclude that “positivity greatly affects negativity.”
“My research tells me that they are doing the best they can with the data collected so far to save lives,” Ms Midgate said.
“It reminds me of when we had the first computers, and they were so big, but we started teaching with them,” she said. “Now they fit in the palm of your hand. If they waited until something small happened, the world would have looked different than it is today. “
After being shot, he took Dr. Asked Abraskin: “Is it all over?”
“It’s hard to separate,” Ms. Miget said. “I look forward to being reunited in some way, somehow.”