Health Report: Fairbanks Public Health to vaccinate homebound seniors in mobile event

Fairbanks Public Health will be administering COVID-19 vaccines to seniors unable to leave...
Fairbanks Public Health will be administering COVID-19 vaccines to seniors unable to leave homes or travel to appointments.(KTVF)
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 5:53 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Fairbanks Public Health Nursing will be conducting a mobile event to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to seniors unable to leave their homes.

Public Health has conducted several large vaccination events over the last few months with the most recent vaccinating over 1,600 residents. As Alaska opens up to a new tier of people able to get the vaccine, Public Health is looking to assist those who are unable to go to such large events.

“As we worked our way through the tier where we were focusing on seniors 65 and above, we did set up several events where people could come to the Carlson Center or go to smaller providers in the community. But we also wanted to remember that we had vulnerable people at home that maybe couldn’t get out to an event like that. And so we’ve been doing some thinking about how we could reach out to them. And Public Health nurses have a long history of bringing vaccines to these individuals,” said Elizabeth Burton, Regional Nurse Manager for Public Health Nursing.

The mobile event will begin this week and focus on seniors living in housing units.

“This week, Public Health Nurses will be teaming up and going out into the community. Thursday and Friday we’ll be going to several of the senior housing units like Moore Street and Southhall Manor. And we will be administering the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine for those seniors unable to come to some of these mass dispensing clinics,” commented Shelly Foint-Anderson Nurse Manager for Fairbanks Public Health.

Public Health had also partnered with non-profit Meals on Wheels to gather information on who most needed assistance receiving the vaccine.

“One of the things that we did in Fairbanks to try to reach folks that might be homebound, and not able to come out safely, is we partnered with Meals on Wheels. And we sent surveys out to about 200 recipients on a Monday, and the surveys were delivered along with their meals, asking them if they needed help making an appointment. If they needed transportation to an appointment. If they couldn’t leave home at all and they would like someone to come to their home, or if they were completely independent and didn’t need any help,” said Burton.

Fairbanks Public Health expects to begin doing house calls the following week after finishing senior housing units.

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