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Plans to get homebound seniors COVID-19 vaccine in the works in Walton County

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 11:36 PM CST
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine out to as many people as they can is the goal of the Walton County Department of Health and Emergency Management.

Now they’re working on helping get the vaccine to people who are confined to their homes.

More than 50 percent of the nearly 15,000 people aged 65 and older have been vaccinated in Walton County, according to leaders from the Department of Health in Walton County and Emergency Management.

But getting the vaccine into the arms of some elderly residents is challenging.

“Walton County has a lot of mileage between the north end and the south end,” said Holly Holt, director of the Department of Health in Walton County.

Holt said getting the vaccine to homebound seniors has been particularly difficult.

“Some of our challenges are of course the distance, and also the logistical standpoint of working with the vaccination, how long it can stay outside the refrigeration,” said Holt.

Emergency Management Director Jeff Goldberg said getting homebound seniors vaccinated is important because people still take care of them.

“The thing that we saw with some of the nursing homes is, some of the people who were nursing homebound, for lack of a better term, had contracted COVID from a third party, whether it was a contractor, whether it was a family member, a staff member that came in from the outside to provide their services or to visit,” said Goldberg.

Goldberg said they will work with both fire departments in Walton County to get the vaccine out.

“They’ve all been trained, we’re putting protocols in place there’s been an emergency order that allows EMTs and paramedics to do vaccinations,” said Goldberg.

Officials said they are still in the process of getting data on where the homebound individuals are.

Holt said she would like to start getting the vaccines out within the next two to four weeks.

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