Covenant Health Goes Back-To-Basics to Deliver COVID-19 Vaccines

Health worker administers vaccine to patient in home visit

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 260 people on average in Texas died from COVID-19 every day in September 2021. During the same time period, vaccinations have decreased compared to the prior month with only 51.8% of Texans fully vaccinated so far.

To help reverse the sobering trends, Covenant Health, located in Lubbock, is bringing back old-school practices to care for COVID-19 patients and administer vaccines.

The health system formed a mobile integrated health team to go where unvaccinated people are, educate them about the benefits of getting vaccinated and administer doses to those who want them. The team is making house calls to homebound people who want the shots but can’t safely leave their residences. Homebound patients will receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and be monitored for adverse side effects for a brief time after receiving the shots. The house-calls initiative is backed by the Lubbock Health Department and Lubbock Meals on Wheels.

Wesley Wells, regional director of pharmacy at Covenant Health, explained how the program works to KLBK news: “There will be a referral process and you’ll call in and we will schedule you for an appointment on a Tuesday or Thursday. We will kind of coordinate a schedule and a team will go out and vaccinate. Then they will wait around for 15 to 30 minutes, in case there’s any adverse effects.”

Wells added, “Whatever we can do to get more people vaccinated is really our goal right now.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccination of homebound persons presents unique challenges due to storage and handling requirements. Homebound persons include those that need the help of another person or medical equipment such as crutches, a walker or a wheelchair to leave their home. People also can be homebound due to health conditions that may worsen outside their residence.