AUSTIN, TX — Austin Public Health has teamed up with Meals on Wheels Central Texas to bring the coronavirus vaccines to older adults who are homebound and medically vulnerable.
The city announced Tuesday the two agencies kicked off a mobile vaccine partnership this week to serve hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations in Austin and Travis County who are homebound.
On Monday, the agencies vaccinated 66 residents in the Phase 1A and 1B category and will continue to distribute vaccines weekly through April.
The program will also provides on-site vaccine clinics at assisted living and independent living residential properties for seniors.
Officials said Meals on Wheels Central Texas is working with the city-county health agency to identify its most frail and medically compromised clients for this first round of mobile vaccinations.
“The homebound older adults we serve at Meals on Wheels Central Texas are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 complications. This is why we believe it is critical that they have access to vaccines as soon as possible,” said Adam Hauser, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels Central Texas. “We are grateful for this collaboration with Austin Public Health that enables our most vulnerable clients to get vaccinated in their homes. The mobile vaccine program is part of our enduring partnership with the City of Austin to support homebound seniors in need in our community.”
Authorities said as more vaccines become available and state eligibility expands, the mobile vaccine program may increase to entire households beyond the high-risk homebound patient.
The city of Austin said the program has the capacity of distributing up to 400 vaccines a week, but Austin Public Health will determine how much it will allocate as supply remains limited.
“We need to meet people where they are,” said Stephanie Hayden-Howard, Austin Public Health Director. “With a pandemic, government agencies have to be more flexible with their operations than ever before, and we have to continue our holistic approach from large-scale vaccine operations to community partnerships with the Mobile Vaccine Program.”