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Grand Traverse County opens up hotline to reach homebound population for vaccinations

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Courtesy covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov
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Members of the homebound population may not be able to go to vaccine clinics, so the vaccines have to come to them. Grand Traverse County has launched a new hotline to make that easier.

Back in January the Grand Traverse County Health Department partnered with the Grand Traverse County Commission on Aging to collaborate with vaccine plans, starting in March they began with home visits to serve the Commission on Aging's clients who are homebound.

Lana Payne is the director of the Grand Traverse Commission on Aging, she said now as their clients have been served they're expanding to anyone else who may need a home visit.

Payne said, “We are now working from the list provided by the health department which is now going to be using the hotline.”

She explained that for these home visits it is actually the staff from the Commission on Aging who are administering the vaccines. She said while they don't give vaccines in normal years, with the help of the health department they were able to train their staff on proper procedures for giving the doses and transporting them. She said that the home visits are more resource intensive than a clinic, so they're typically only getting 5-6 doses done a day, in part because the staff still has their regular duties to clients.

Jodi Kelly is the Community Health Director for the Grand Traverse Health Department, the new hotline, she said, is another way they hope to serve the community.

She said, “There are lots of pockets of individuals that are homebound and only known to family members and caregivers, and maybe churches, that would be aware of individuals who would want the vaccine and might not be on the computer or know what our efforts are all about.”

Kelly said, anyone in or around the Grand Traverse area who is homebound and unvaccinated, or who knows someone who is can call the hotline to get more information on the program.

The hotline number is 231-995-6084.