A program to bring coronavirus vaccines to adults with disabilities and the elderly who cannot leave their homes is coming to Dallas starting Tuesday, municipal sources said.
Dallas Fire-Rescue staff and the Texas Association of Visiting Nurses will be administering Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines to people who cannot leave the home and who participate in the Meals on Wheels program.
The plan is to immunize about 70 people a day six days a week, said Chris Culak, a spokesman for the VNA of Texas.
The nonprofit organization provides terminal care and administers Dallas County’s Meals on Wheels program.
This will be the first home immunization program in the city since the vaccination campaign began at the end of December.
The city government is currently vaccinating by appointment at The Potter’s House in South Dallas.
Other mass drive-thru vaccination centers in the city include the FEMA and Dallas County megacenter in Fair Park and another Parkland Hospital at Ellis Davis Field House.
“This effort can finally end the fear that our vulnerable residents who cannot leave home have felt over the past year,” Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement Wednesday.
“And for our city, these vaccines represent another important step toward achieving herd immunity against a deadly and devastating virus.”
Another home immunization initiative is also expected to launch soon in South County.
About 4,500 people are enrolled in Meals on Wheels in Dallas County; Slightly more than half of them live in Dallas, Culak explained.
Most of the beneficiaries are people over 60 years of age. In other parts of the state they are also trying to vaccinate older adults.
“We hope to continue doing this as long as the city continues to receive its batch of vaccines or until we vaccinate all of our clients who wish to do so,” he said.
Outside of the Meals on Wheels network, there is no other home immunization program.
Culak said the organization is reaching out to its beneficiaries to see if they want the vaccine and will then determine the routes its six teams will take.
He added that there are already 350 Dallas residents who have told them they want the vaccine.
He estimated that about a third of his beneficiaries in Dallas County have agreed to receive the vaccine through his program, 20% have already received the vaccine, and half have not wanted it or have not been contacted.
Culak believes that having to have two injections may have scared some.
Staff are once again reaching out to people who declined the vaccine or could not be reached previously to offer them the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Culak said.
You can sign up for the vaccine at www.dallascountycovid.org or by calling 1-855-IMMUNE9 (855-466-8639) between 7 am and 7 pm