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Midland paramedics deliver COVID-19 vaccine to homebound individuals

Midland Health said there are about 3-400 homebound individuals in Midland.

MIDLAND, Texas — Midland Health has created a new program called "Home to Home", to help bring vaccines into homebound seniors. This includes paramedics, physician assistants, and firefighters that will come to you.

"We run a community health program where we already have patients we see in their home, help manage their chronic diseases, that are already homebound," said Johnny Flitton, Midland Health Physician Assistant.

These workers teamed up with community partners like Casa de Amigos and Senior Life to get more vaccines to homebound individuals.

In the first trial run, the team was able to vaccinate two dozen people in about four hours, and the following week they hope to up that count.

"We're setting up a process with those community-based partners, Casa de Amigos, Senior Life Midland to help start to maybe receive some of those phone calls and start to compile that secondary list so we can make sure that we can get everybody that's homebound, that we get everybody that's in the populations, the 1A, 1B population, we get them their vaccine," Flitton said.

And they will up the man-power.

"We've looked at growing that in size and we've talked with the Texas Tech physician assistant program. They have some interest, Texas Tech residents medical students, nursing students. We have a pretty big resource to pull from," Flitton said.

On Friday, each group packed their soft coolers with ice packs and vaccines an hour before heading out on their mission.

Their challenge now is accounting for commute times and waiting on the homebound individuals to clear with no post-vaccine symptoms.

"That's our challenge, right. I mean we have to wait and monitor and that's kind of the limiting factor to just being able to do hundreds of these a day," Flitton said.

But they say this effort is worth the wait if it means relief.

"Preventing their illness and disease is probably the best thing we can do to minimize stress on the healthcare system that's been taxed for long periods of time now," Flitton said. 

Next week the Midland community health team is looking to vaccinate more homebound people Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

If you are homebound and in the 1A or 1B vaccine category, you can call Casa de Amigos or Senior Life to get on their list.

Odessa's vaccine hub is still working on getting vaccines to the homebound and Pecos's vaccine hub started vaccinating the homebound last week.