The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of health infrastructure required to vaccinate homebound older adults who are at a higher risk of infection and therefore, a priority population in vaccine distribution efforts. Eskaton, in partnership with the UC Berkeley CITRIS Lighthouse Project, AlphaOne Medical Response Team and Pucci’s Pharmacy, is proud to have implemented a cost-free mobile vaccination clinic to serve overlooked, homebound older adults who often lack access to resources, technology and health care services in the Sacramento, California area.
"There are many older adults in our region who are unable to leave their homes due to a variety of challenges, many of which were further complicated by the arrival of a global pandemic," said Darlene Cullivan, senior manager of Outreach and Impact at Eskaton. "These individuals meet the age and health requirements for vaccination, yet feasible access to the vaccine didn’t exist. That’s why we developed these mobile vaccine clinics, to ensure these older adults were not overlooked."
It took many groups to come together to identify high-risk individuals, arrange appointments, educate patients, deploy the vaccine, care for the patients and keep their information secure. The program required a lot of coordination, but the enthusiasm and dedication of our partners allowed the clinic to be successful and scale to meet the need. Eskaton was able to identify potential participants via the Meals on Wheels program. Pucci’s Pharmacy, a local business serving Sacramento for over 90 years, procured the vaccine and was responsible for safeguarding the vials throughout the distribution process. AlphaOne Medical Response Team was responsible for deploying the vaccine and making home visits – serving approximately 10 people a day – and caring for each patient before and after the shot. Our collaboration allowed more than 300 individuals have been vaccinated through this program since late March 2021, increasing community resiliency and protection against the COVID-19 virus.
"I’m stuck at home and have been in a wheelchair for 25 years . . . It’s been impossible for me to get out to get the shot. I am so thankful for Eskaton and what you are doing. Most places you have to go to and you actually come here and help me get the shot. I’d been praying to get it and you guys have been so helpful. You are my angels," said Kitty Torda, a recipient of the vaccine via the mobile clinic.
To learn more about how Eskaton supports the health and well-being of older adults throughout Northern California and beyond, visit our website.