COVID-19 vaccination program to reach out to homebound residents

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Board of County Commissioners announced on Tuesday, April 27, the beginning of its homebound vaccination program, in an effort to vaccinate its residents who are unable to leave their homes.

“Our most vulnerable communities must not be left behind, and the effort to vaccinate the homebound is critical to the success of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner Chairperson Alexander Mirabella. “This is a major step forward as we continue to build toward herd immunity in Union County.”

Commissioner Sergio Granados, who is the chairperson of the county’s Public Safety Committee, which oversees the response to the pandemic, said, “I am excited to announce the homebound program. We have been working through our county’s Human Services and Public Safety Department to develop this program and serve residents, beginning at age 18 and older. We won’t stop until we vaccinate all of Union County’s homebound residents who want a vaccination and who are among the most vulnerable to the virus.”

The program will be administered through the county’s Human Services Department. The nurse-led teams began vaccinating the homebound last week in three towns — Clark, Garwood and Cranford — and will move on to other towns after that. The county is partnering with the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Holy Redeemer Visiting Nurse Agency and Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey to offer the program.

The county has identified and targeted more than 2,000 residents thus far, according to Human Services Director Debbie-Ann Anderson.

Residents who are homebound and wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccination may call the county’s Division on Aging and Disability Resources at 888-280-8226 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The county will begin by offering the Moderna vaccination and then transition into the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccination.

Someone is considered to be homebound if they are 18 years of age or older and their doctor believes that their health or illness could get worse if they leave the home; if they require the help of another person and/or medical equipment to leave the home or find it difficult to leave the home and typically cannot do so; if they are served by a home health care organization; if they are served by social services agencies, such as nonmedical home care, Meals on Wheels, community action agencies, paratransit services, etc.; and if they are physically or intellectually disabled.