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Rosemarie Duffy was just one of more than 200 homebound patients living in Windham, Windsor, and Orange counties who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last week.

Town and Village

VNH, Rescue Inc. deliver COVID-19 vaccines to homebound patients

BRATTLEBORO—Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire (VNH) and Rescue Inc. have begun providing homebound patients over age 75 their COVID-19 vaccine where they are most comfortable and safest — at home.

With the scarcity of workforce in rural areas, Hilary Davis, VNH director of external relations, said in a news release that community health providers “need to be creative and work together. This is just one of many success stories to come.”

According to the Vermont Department of Health, older Vermonters and those with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, accounting for nearly all the deaths from the virus over the past year. And according to the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy think tank, 1.9 million adults over 65 are homebound and another 5.3 million have a health condition that makes it hard to leave home.

Delivering vaccine to homebound patients is not new, but due to workforce scarcity, the strict storage and transportation requirements of this vaccine, and the extreme rural geography of VNH’s service region, the agency said its clinical staff could not have provided this service without help.

For more information about VNH, visit

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Originally published in The Commons issue #600 (Wednesday, February 17, 2021). This story appeared on page A5.

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