LIBERTY – The nurses of Sullivan County Public Health Services are ready and willing to travel to any location in the County to ensure local homebound residents are vaccinated against the potentially lethal COVID-19 virus. In fact, they’ve already administered vaccines to nearly 30 such residents.
“While the exposure risk is low if you live alone and only have occasional visitors or caregivers, the coronavirus is very contagious, and for anyone with underlying health conditions, the long-term health impacts are still largely unknown but can be devastating – and potentially fatal,” Public Health Director Nancy McGraw cautions. “Since March 2020, at least 74 deaths have occurred among Sullivan County residents from COVID-19, with more than 6,517 confirmed cases.”
COVID-19 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include muscle aches/pains, fatigue, and decrease in appetite. According to the CDC, headache, confusion, rhinorrhea, sore throat, hemoptysis, vomiting, and diarrhea have also been reported, but are less common. Older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems are at higher risk developing severe illness, hospitalization or death from this virus.
“The good news is that vaccines are much more widely available to everyone, and our nurses are available to administer the COVID-19 vaccine shot in the comfort of your own home if you are unable to get to a vaccine clinic, pharmacy or healthcare provider on your own,” McGraw adds. “We have plenty of supply and are eager to continue vaccinating as many people as we can in the weeks ahead. We are in a very positive situation now, with only 50 active cases in the County, but we are continuing to urge residents to get fully vaccinated so that we can reach at least a 70-80% vaccination rate and feel confident that herd immunity will protect those who are unable to get vaccinated for various reasons.”
Homebound visits can be scheduled through the County’s Emergency Community Assistance Center – 845-807-0925 (English and Espanol). Public Health cannot guarantee availability of a certain vaccine at the time of a visit, but Public Health staff can let you know which vaccine is available (Janssen, Moderna or Pfizer) if callers indicate a preference. The actual visit lasts approximately 20 minutes, and caregivers/relatives in the home can receive a dose at the same time.
To be eligible for a homebound vaccination visit, you must be: A Sullivan County resident; 18 years of age or older; Unable to leave your home property unassisted or unable to find transportation to get to your local healthcare provider or other vaccination site; and available locally to receive the second dose approximately three to four weeks after receiving the first dose (Moderna or Pfizer vaccines only).