City launches new program specifically to vaccinate Detroit’s homebound residents and their families

City launches new program specifically to vaccinate Detroit’s homebound residents and their families

  • New Partnership with Detroit Health Department, Detroit Area Agency on Aging & Wayne Health and others to reach another of the city’s most vulnerable populations
  • 150 teams of vaccinators to hit the streets on Monday, will wear uniforms, have picture I.D
  • Scheduling begins today, vaccinations to start next week

The City of Detroit will begin vaccinating its homebound residents beginning Monday in a major new push to reach a segment of the population that – despite the broad availability of vaccination sites – have not been able to receive a vaccine. Starting today, these residents will begin to be contacted directly, based on a list of known homebound individuals provided by the State of Michigan.

The new program is the latest in the city’s ongoing efforts to reach its most vulnerable populations by visiting homeless shelters, senior buildings and other assisted living facilities, as well as providing access for disabled residents and those without their own transportation and doing door-to-door outreach and education.

“In Detroit, we have built a vaccination strategy that meets people where they are, specifically in the neighborhoods, at parks and other gathering sites, to reach as many people as we can,” said Chief Public Health Officer, Denise Fair. “It is critical for us to get our homebound residents vaccinated. Our teams will call them to make appointments. They don’t have to call us. We believe it is imperative to remove any barriers they have.”

To perform these vaccinations, the Detroit Health Department along with its partners – The Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Wayne Health, Maternal Infant Health Program Providers and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – will have more than 150 teams available to vaccinate those residents. In addition to vaccinating the homebound resident, the teams also will vaccinate any other member of the household that has not yet been vaccinated.

Fair thanked the program’s partners for stepping up to reach the last significant group of Detroiters that did not yet have access to a vaccine.

“Teaming up with organizations that are also passionate about making sure the vaccine is accessible to our homebound is key to the success of the City’s vaccination efforts,” said Fair. “We are also grateful for The Detroit Health Department’s Nursing Director Dr. Iris Taylor for leading up these important efforts.”

“We know the homebound senior population better than any other organization in this community, so we had to step up when the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out did not immediately address the needs of homebound seniors,” said Ronald Taylor, President and CEO of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging. “These are people who lack either the mobility and/or transportation to get to a site. We are excited about this City of Detroit initiative and the collaborative partnerships which will work to keep our most vulnerable seniors safe from contracting COVID-19. We look forward to growing our partnerships to provide the care that can keep people safe and healthy in their own homes for as long as possible.”

To help homebound residents and their families feel comfortable letting vaccinators into their home, each member of the vaccination teams will be in a clearly identifiable uniform and have identification when they arrive at the time of the pre-scheduled appointment.

"The pandemic pushed us to reconsider how Wayne Health could stay true to our longstanding commitment to addressing health disparities in Black and other underserved populations. We started by being the first to establish a mobile health program in Michigan, bringing quality and affordable care into our communities,” said Dr. Phillip Levy, Chief Innovation Officer of Wayne Health. “Partnering with the city on the homebound outreach initiative is an important next step in removing barriers to care to make sure that each person can prioritize their health and wellness.”

The homebound vaccination strategy is expected to run through November or early December.