More than two million Michiganders are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and a focus now is to ensure people who are homebound are able to get the vaccine.
Roughly 100,000 Michiganders are considered homebound, and might have mobility issues or lack transportation.
Mark Hornbeck, associate state director for communications at AARP Michigan, said many are older adults who are at increased risk of severe illness, should they contract COVID-19.
“It’s important that everybody has an opportunity to get vaccinated,” Hornbeck urged. “The supplies of vaccine have opened up. Now, the issue is getting to those people who desire to get vaccinated but are just difficult to reach.”
Counties are taking varying approaches to reaching their homebound residents, so Hornbeck pointed out local health departments are the best source of information about vaccine access. Information is available online at aarp.org/mivaccine.
Hornbeck remarked he’s been impressed with the creativity counties use to reach out to homebound residents.
“Some are exploring having mobile vaccination units; some are reaching them by using public and private transit services, to take them to vaccine centers; EMS workers are being utilized in some cases,” Hornbeck outlined.
Hornbeck encouraged residents to consider whether their loved ones, neighbors or co-workers could use help to find a COVID-19 vaccine, and offer assistance.
“If they have a family member or a friend, or just a neighbor that knows of a homebound senior, if we can get some information to them that they can impart to the homebound person, that’s probably the best way to get this done,” Hornbeck suggested.
He added another good way to learn about homebound outreach is to call the Michigan COVID Hotline at 888-535-6136.