If you can’t come to a site to get your COVID-19 vaccination, an Emergency Medical Services technician will come to you.
As part of its effort to ensure every eligible Chester County resident who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can get one, the Chester County Health Department has partnered with local EMS agencies to schedule at-home vaccine appointments.
Through the partnership, advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics are deployed to administer either Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine to people in their homes. Caregivers for the individuals are also offered the vaccine, if needed.
“Our COVID-19 vaccine program includes a variety of approaches, from traditional clinics of varying sizes, to mobile clinics and small community-based clinics,” said Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Franklin. “But we recognize that not everyone is able to access these vaccine opportunities, so we have been bringing vaccines to the homes of those who have a medical or physical limitation.”
“The best way to do this is to partner with our qualified local EMS agencies,” she added.
Health officials identified individuals throughout Chester County who would benefit from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at home through lists provided by the PA Department of Aging, the Chester County Department of Aging Services and through self-identification for the need. Everyone was contacted to confirm their need, and appointments scheduled to administer the vaccine.
The county’s at-home vaccine program began in late March and to date, 232 first dose vaccines have been completed at private residences. On average, each EMS agency team covered 10 at-home appointments a day, given the travel time, and the time needed to remain with the individual after administering the vaccine. The at-home vaccinations will continue as long as needed.
As of May 11, statewide there have been 1,177,072 COVID-19 cases, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and some 90 percent of those infected with the virus recovered. More than 9.3 million vaccinations have been given out and 52.7 percent of the state population has received a first dose. Also, 45.6 percent of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated and the commonwealth ranks 10th in the50 states for first doses.
“The opportunity to be a part of the County’s solution to slowing and eventually ending the COVID pandemic is extremely gratifying for EMS providers, particularly considering they spent so long working on the stressful frontline during the pandemic,” said Chaz Brogan, chief of Good Fellowship Ambulance and president of the Chester County EMS Council.
“Those receiving at-home vaccinations invite us to sit down and are eager to share how the pandemic has affected them personally,” said Good Fellowship paramedic Kerri Barrett. “The service we are providing goes beyond getting a vaccine. The personal connection with individuals unable to leave their home has added hope in looking ahead and returning to normalcy.”
Uwchlan Ambulance Corps Chief Tammy Whiteman said, “It has been an honor to help the Chester County Health Department and Chester County Department of Emergency Services with the at-home vaccine program. Our providers found it was a privilege to help our residents receive the COVID vaccine in a way that fit their personal needs.”
Additional Chester County EMS agencies that are providing at-home vaccinations include Berwyn Fire Co. EMS and Event Medical Staffing Solutions (EMSS). Agencies that will be participating at a later date are Longwood Fire Co. EMS, West End EMS of Phoenixville and TowerDIRECT.
Any Chester County resident in need of an at-home vaccine appointment should call the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6225.