WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island residents ages 75 and older are now eligible to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, but not everyone in that age group can go physically get their shot.
That’s why Integra Community Care Network and Professional Ambulance are transporting vaccines to eligible residents that are homebound, including Warwick resident Jeannine Flamand.
She said while the pandemic has taken away the simple pleasures of life, this vaccine is the first step to getting it back.
“Oh, I feel really bad,” Flamand said. “I’ve been cooped up here a whole year or better.”
Flamand said the vaccine will give her the chance to do something on her own, which is a privilege that has been snatched away from her.
“I have to rely on all kinds of people to do anything for me,” she said.
Integra Nurse Practitioner Allison Seelig said this is also how they tested patients for the coronavirus.
“We’ve been able to test and treat these same subgroups of patients with mild-to-moderate COVID symptoms,” Seelig said.
Right now, roughly 30 patients are signed up to get at-home vaccines, but Care New England’s Executive Chief of Geriatrics and Palliative Care Dr. Ana Fulton said they’re taking it day by day based on vaccine availability.
“The vaccine is being given to patients who are truly homebound,” Fulton said. “The numbers change by the day.”
For Flamand, it’s a bright light in the midst of these dark times.
“Well, it’ll keep me going I’m quite sure,” she said. “I just turned 89 on Sunday.”
The vaccines for this program were allocated through Care New England’s Pharmacy and Visiting Nurses Association.