Chesco health partnering with EMS to deliver vaccines at home

Kerri Barrett, Good Fellowship Ambulance Paramedic, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to an at-home individual.

WEST CHESTER — As part of its effort to ensure every eligible Chester County resident who chooses to have a COVID-19 vaccine is able to receive one, the Chester County Health Department has partnered with local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies to schedule at-home vaccine appointments for those who are unable to attend a vaccine clinic.

Through the partnership, advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics are deployed to administer either Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine to individuals in their home setting.  Caregivers for the individuals are also offered the vaccine, if needed.

Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Franklin said, “Our COVID-19 vaccine program includes a variety of approaches, from traditional clinics of varying sizes, to mobile clinics and small community-based clinics.  But we recognize that not everyone is able to access these vaccine opportunities, so we have been bringing vaccines to the homes of those who have a medical or physical limitation.

“The best way to do this is to partner with our qualified local EMS agencies.”

Health officials identified individuals throughout Chester County who would benefit from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at home through lists provided by the PA Department of Aging, the Chester County Department of Aging Services, and through self-identification for the need. All individuals were contacted to confirm their need, and appointments scheduled to administer the vaccine.

The County’s at-home vaccine program began in late March and to date, 232 first dose vaccines have been completed in Chester County, covering all individuals identified as needing a vaccine in the home setting.  On average, each EMS agency team covered 10 at-home appointments a day, given the travel time, and the time needed to remain with the individual after administering the vaccine.   The partnership with the local EMS agencies spanned all areas of Chester County, and the beyond that, the at-home vaccinations will continue as long as needed.

Chaz Brogan, Chief of Good Fellowship Ambulance and President of the Chester County EMS Council stated, “The opportunity to be a part of the County’s solution to slowing and eventually ending the COVID pandemic is extremely gratifying for EMS providers, particularly considering they spent so long working on the stressful frontline during the pandemic.”

Ian Sadock, Advanced EMT for Good Fellowship commented, “This shot represents hope to those who need it and who had real concerns for how they would receive the vaccine.”

Good Fellowship Paramedic Kerri Barrett shared, “Those receiving at-home vaccinations invite us to sit down and are eager to share how the pandemic has affected them personally.

“The service we are providing goes beyond getting a vaccine. The personal connection with individuals unable to leave their home has added hope in looking ahead and returning to normalcy.”

Uwchlan Ambulance Corps Chief Tammy Whiteman said, “It has been an honor to help the Chester County Health Department and Chester County Department of Emergency Services with the at-home vaccine program. Our providers found it was a privilege to help our residents receive the COVID vaccine in a way that fit their personal needs.”

Additional Chester County EMS agencies that are providing at-home vaccinations include Berwyn Fire Co. EMS and Event Medical Staffing Solutions (EMSS).  Agencies that will be participating at a later date are Longwood Fire Co. EMS, West End EMS of Phoenixville and TowerDIRECT.

Any Chester County resident in need of an at-home vaccine appointment should call the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6225.

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