Meals On Wheels partners with EMS to bring COVID vaccines to homebound residents

Meals On Wheels, EMS partner to bring COVID-19 vaccine to homebound residents in North Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many homebound residents, particularly in north Baton Rouge, only had one option in getting the COVID-19 vaccine until Monday, March 15.

They either relied on someone else to bring them to a facility to get vaccinated or they were simply out of luck. But not anymore, now that Meals On Wheels and Baton Rouge EMS have teamed up to create a solution to the problem.

“I don’t get out too many places that distribute things and if I had to go to a site, I wouldn’t be able to make it,” said Shirley Scott, a homebound resident.

For folks like Scott, finding a way to get to one of the many vaccination events we’ve seen recently has been more than difficult, especially since there’s a lack of vaccine distributors in north Baton Rouge.

“At some of the pop-up sights, people were having to bring individuals,” explained Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “In fact, I think I was told one person came in a bed.”

After listening to several people share their stories, Broome and the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging decided to come up with a plan.

“And thanks to the work of the Council on Aging and collaborating with the city-parish and EMS, we’ll be able to bring the vaccine to those individuals,” Broome added.

“And for them to say they would come to me at my house ... outstanding,” said Scott.

She was one of the first to benefit from the program. She and her daughter, Latasha, who also takes care of her, received their first doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday afternoon.

“It gives me hope to get this shot. That’s all I have to say I’m just happy”, Verett says.

Several state and parish agencies including the East Baton Rouge Parish Council On Aging and the Meals On Wheels program partner to bring doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in North Baton Rouge on Monday, March 15, 2021.
Several state and parish agencies including the East Baton Rouge Parish Council On Aging and the Meals On Wheels program partner to bring doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in North Baton Rouge on Monday, March 15, 2021. (Source: WAFB)
Several state and parish agencies including the East Baton Rouge Parish Council On Aging and the Meals On Wheels program partner to bring doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in North Baton Rouge on Monday, March 15, 2021.
Several state and parish agencies including the East Baton Rouge Parish Council On Aging and the Meals On Wheels program partner to bring doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in North Baton Rouge on Monday, March 15, 2021. (Source: WAFB)

Shirley said she hasn’t been hesitant to receive her shot and by getting it, she hopes to encourage others, who are in her position who may be skeptical of the vaccine, to take advantage of the program.

“I am doing this to show them ... and encourage them. Please get it, because I miss my grandkids and I would love to have a hug from them,” Shirley added.

Meals On Wheels already has thousands of recipients in the north Baton Rouge area. Volunteers say with the help of EMS, it makes sense to ride along with them and bring vaccines to those who are already registered as homebound.

Although the event Monday took place in north Baton Rouge, that doesn’t mean that only those who live in that area can take advantage of this.

Anybody who is a Meals on Wheels recipient can contact the EBR Council On Aging and ask to receive their shot as well.

You can contact the EBR Council On Aging at 225-923-8000 or by emailing info@ebrcoa.org.

Organizers say they have the capacity to vaccinate several dozen people a week and, in some cases, up to 50 people a day.

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