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KNAU and Arizona News

Coalition Launches In-Home COVID-19 Vaccinations In Verde Valley

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Courtesy Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition
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The Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition is rolling out a program to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people in their homes. The initiative is aimed at helping people who face barriers to vaccination. 

 

Arizona has vaccinated more than 1.2 million people so far — nearly 18% of the population, according to the Department of Health Services. But seniors, people with disabilities, and those in rural areas have a harder time booking appointments, according to Kent Ellsworth, Executive Director of the Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition.

 

He says about 300 people so far have expressed interest in being vaccinated at home through VVCC's program, which launched on March 1, when a dozen seniors were vaccinated in their homes.

 

Ellsworth says it’s created relief for people who’ve had trouble navigating websites or figuring out transportation to vaccination sites.

 

"People who have to use a wheelchair. People who are very elderly," he adds. "We’ve served, already, many people in their 90s. And we have another person we’ll probably be serving soon who is 103."

 

He says about 30% of the people VVCC serve lack internet access — a barrier for Arizonans attempting to book an appointment on one of the various websites for vaccinations.

 

"They do not have smartphones," Ellsworth adds. "And they need our help desperately."

 

The coalition is partnering with Spectrum Healthcare to administer the doses. Ellsworth says they plan to vaccinate about 1,000 people by August.