Town and Village

VCIL launches statewide in-home vaccine service

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) has launched a statewide, in-home vaccine service for people of all ages.

"COVID-19 and flu are still dangerous health risks, especially for people with disabilities and older adults," VCIL Executive Director Sarah Launderville said in a news release. "These communities were reaching out and telling us that they felt forgotten, and we knew we needed to respond."

Made possible by the U.S. Administration for Community Living with a grant through USAging, in-home vaccinations are available for anyone who has difficulty getting to or using traditional vaccination locations.

"Every day for the past month, we've heard from individuals and families desperate to get vaccinated, but unable to due to lack of accessible options" said Kate Larose, VCIL's pandemic equity coordinator.

According to Larose, "pharmacies and primary care providers are refusing to provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are transportation barriers, and the health equity focus our Agency of Human Services heralded at the start of the pandemic has long since fallen by the wayside."

This service is free of charge to anyone in Vermont. No insurance information will be collected, and in-home vaccinators will wear masks. Entire households - including children, caregivers, and friends - can be vaccinated at once.

Newly updated COVID-19 and flu vaccines offer better protection against currently circulating strains, just in time for the holiday season when many people spend more time together indoors.

"We know that both initial and repeat Covid infections can lead to Long Covid in people of all ages," said Krista Coombs, VCIL Long Covid Advocate, "even when infections are asymptomatic or mild. Reducing the number of infections is critical. And staying up to date on vaccinations can help mitigate these risks and reduce the likelihood of severe illness and hospitalization."

People wishing to learn more about this service, as well as upcoming drive-through clinics, can visit Households ready to schedule an in-home vaccine can call 802-830-4137 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This Town and Village item was submitted to The Commons.

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