OCH Regional Medical Center launches service for homebound patients where paramedics can give COVID-19 vaccines at their homes

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Starting Friday, certain people in Oktibbeha County will be able to get their COVID-19 shot right at home.

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OCH Regional Medical Center is launching a new service where homebound patients can schedule paramedics to come to their homes and administer the vaccine.

“They have so many underlying conditions, they can’t do it on their own,” said OCH EMS paramedic Stacy Permenter. “(But) somebody has to do it (for them).”

It’s the hospital’s latest measure to get the vaccine to as many Oktibbeha County residents as possible.

“Our homebound patients, they are most vulnerable and they have more issues, more underlying conditions,” says OCH Nursing and Project Manager Ebony Hogan.

Paramedics will make house calls every Friday, not only delivering the shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but also waiting with the patients at least 15 minutes afterward.

“There’s a certain period, once you open that vile, it has to be used or they’re no good,” Permenter said. “So they’ll map it out for their [appointments] from house to house to house.”

Homebound patients include those unable to leave their home without help or medical equipment, or those who otherwise would face serious health risks being out in public.

But that doesn’t mean they need the COVID-19 vaccine any less.

“There’s still so much potential of the virus getting to them,” Permenter said. “Somebody brings them food, brings the groceries.”

Hogan, who is the driving force behind the program, says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine streamlines the process for the paramedics, who will still be on-call for emergencies.

“One shot. We don’t have to go back out to administer that second shot,” she said. “That one shot will be perfectly fine for them.”

Hogan hopes this delivery service can be a major step towards getting everyone in Oktibbeha County the vaccine.

“It just makes me feel good to be able to put [patients] on the schedule in order to receive a shot,” she said.

OCH says they currently have at least two vaccination appointments scheduled for their debut on Friday. The service is currently available for Oktibbeha County residents only.

To schedule an at-home vaccination call 662-615-2981.