Doses on Demand program brings COVID-19 vaccines to residents' homes

Meg Schiffres with VPM NPR

Residents of Richmond and Henrico County can access free COVID-19 vaccines from the comfort of their homes. The project, called Doses on Demand, is part of the Richmond-Henrico Health District’s strategy to ensure all residents can access the vaccine.

According to Cat Long, public information officer for the health district, all types of COVID vaccines and booster shots are available through the program.

“We could do different vaccines all at the same time. We can do a vaccine for a six-year-old who's about to start school and their grandmother's booster, or second booster, at the same time,” Long said.

The health district has been offering mobile vaccine clinics since the beginning of the pandemic, and last year it started bringing them directly to people who said they have difficulty leaving their homes. In March, the program expanded to offer its at-home services to all residents of both localities.

Long said a large portion of the people utilizing the program are elderly, lack transportation or are living with disabilities that make it difficult for them to leave their homes.

“Oftentimes, for people who have limited mobility or disabilities or people with developmental disabilities, a typical clinic space might be really uncomfortable,” Long said. “We really want to make sure that folks in our community are able to get COVID-19 vaccines, no matter what their level of ability is, or no matter what their health or mental condition is. Because everybody deserves to be protected from COVID-19.”

According to data analyzed by Dr. Andrew Houtenville, research director of the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, about 400,000 Virginians with a disability said they have difficulty living independently or doing errands  — such as going to the doctor’s office — on their own.

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