Homebound vaccinations resume following Johnson & Johnson pause

Homebound vaccinations resume following Johnson & Johnson pause

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Ambulance Authority is working to make vaccinations more accessible, offering the Moderna vaccine to people in their homes.

The program began on April 12 in an effort to vaccinate community members who are homebound and unable to get to a vaccination site, doctor’s office or pharmacy, in the Richmond Henrico Health District,

The program was briefly put on hold after the FDA recommended pausing the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine due to rare cases of blood clotting. RAA resumed homebound vaccinations Monday using the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

“Typically when we go into a home it is 911, it is for an emergency and emotion is high, in this case, recipients have been extremely appreciative,” said Bryan McCray, Safety and Risk Management Director for RAA.

McCray says the appointments are scheduled through the health department, and they also provide the vaccine doses. EMTs travel to homes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. McCray says RAA’s goal is to administer at least 10 doses per day. Right now, there is no end date for the program.

“As long as there is a need, we are going to do what needs to be done,” he said.

Tuesday, Evelyn Hall received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine from the comfort of her South Richmond home. Hall is a stroke survivor who uses a wheelchair and was concerned about getting to a vaccine clinic.

“I was concerned if they would call me, I would have to get a caravan to carry me there, I would need a day in advance to schedule to get there, when they said they could find ways for someone to bring it to me I said ‘that is good, I appreciate it,” Hall explained. “[The vaccine’] is something that needs to be done, [COVID-19} is not something you should take lightly.”

Hall says the one thing she is looking forward to most about being fully vaccinated, is being able to hug family members.

“Just being able to gather and go to church, we embrace, we hug, these things--we weren’t able to do, so that will be very important to me,” Hall said.

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