PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - On Wednesday, Washington state health officials shared optimism COVID-19 vaccinations could reach 70% by the end of June. Reaching that high goal means local health agencies are sometimes considering house calls to reach those who may not be able to leave their homes.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s homebound vaccination team is already delivering doses to families in the South Sound.
"It’s a desperate need," said Angela Lawson.
Lawson and a colleague arrived Wednesday morning at the Bennett family home, situated between Graham and Kapowsin. Dressed in scrubs and carrying bags of equipment, the team says they have already delivered scores of vaccines.
"Every effort that we make is super rewarding," she said.
"The health department’s here," Wilma Bennett said while tending to her husband George of nearly 57-years.
George suffers from Lewy Body Dementia. His wife believes neither of them would get a second dose if the county didn’t make house calls.
"Basically in the last four years since I lost my leg, I’ve been in this house," said Robert Warias while meeting with nurses inside his Spanaway home.
He said he had been calling and waiting for weeks to learn how to get vaccinated without leaving his home. Wednesday morning, he received his second dose.
"Well now, I can go out and go hunting now," he said.
The healthcare workers say for every two doses they deliver, it helps to protect scores of others who have not yet been able to get a vaccine.
"They’re always happy saying, Oh I’ve been waiting for this for a long time," said Ji Cheong who spent the day working alongside Lawson.
Others who receive the vaccine at home share their appreciation in ways that are not so obvious.
"It’s definitely the look in their eyes and what they don’t say," Lawson said.
If you know someone who cannot leave their home but wants a vaccine, appointments can be scheduled with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department by calling 253-649-1412 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
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