Rowan University med school rolls out effort to vaccinate homebound people, boost confidence in shot

A southern New Jersey medical school is making its COVID-19 vaccine supply mobile in an effort to vaccinate some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

News 12 Staff

Apr 6, 2021, 8:58 PM

Updated 1,162 days ago

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A southern New Jersey medical school is making its COVID-19 vaccine supply mobile in an effort to vaccinate some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.
“This is more shots in arms. This is getting the shots in the arms of people who need it most,” says Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Dean Dr. Thomas Cavalieri.
Since the Rowan vaccine site opened its doors on Christmas Eve in Stratford, Camden County, Cavalieri says that it has run smoothly. But he says that they quickly started to notice something.
“We noticed significant gaps. The homebound, how are they going to get vaccinated? What about people with special needs? What about the homeless and those that were addicted?” he says.
Together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, they started a house call vaccination program, taking 250 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to homebound individuals over the next two months.
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"When we do this, we not only provide the service to the homebound elderly, but very often the caregivers then become almost homebound too and it's hard for them to access the vaccine. So then we extend the vaccine even to the caregiver as well,” Cavalieri says.
Along with the house calls vaccination program, the medical school will also be starting an educational program that will train certain individuals to then go back into their communities and advocate for people to come out and get the vaccine.
"Essentially, we’re training, through this program, a group of African American leaders and then also another group of individuals who suffered from substance abuse,” Cavalieri says. “So we’re targeting two populations where there is a likelihood of those communities not being so open to receiving the vaccine."
Cavalieri says that while this is a giant task, he is hoping to lay the groundwork for other institutions to start similar programs.
The Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine has administered more than 20,000 doses at the center in Stratford.


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