PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Mobile homebound health care groups are finally getting COVID-19 vaccines for their patients.
A Palm Beach County healthcare group says nearly half of its homebound patients do not have access to a computer and could not sign up for the state homebound vaccine program.
Nearly every week since vaccines started to arrive at long-term care facilities, Christine Brooks, Nurse Practitioner for Mobile Healthcare Solutions, contacted the state for answers. This week she got the notice she's been waiting for.
"We got notified early this week from the state of Florida and received the vaccine within 24 of acknowledging that email," said Brooks.
Johnson & Johnson doses for those elderly homebound patients like Effie Mae Schneider in Haverhill who is 92 and hasn't left her home in months.
"I spend most of my day crocheting, I make big packages of them and I give them away," said Effie Mae Schneider, who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at her home Wednesday.
Effie Mae shares that at first, she wasn’t sure if she'd ever get access to the vaccine.
"I wasn’t sure whether I was going to get it or not because I'm bedridden you know," said Schneider.
Her weekend trips around town with her son Eugene have been on pause.
"Every Sunday morning, I used to take her around Lake Osborn and pick up a BLT for her to sit down and eat and let her watch the ducks and stuff like that," said Eugene Schneider, Effie Mae's son.
Brooks says about 40 percent of her patients are not tech-savvy and did not have the means to sign up via email for the state’s homebound vaccine program.
Now, those patients and their caretakers are getting the vaccine.
Brooks says she’s able to continue ordering the vaccine till every patient who wants one has it.
Effie Mae says she hopes getting the vaccine on the news will inspire others to get it too.
"If it will help other people do it, older people realize it’s for their own good they should take it," added Schneider.