LA’s Push to Vaccinate the Homebound

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the struggles faced by vulnerable populations, and the push to vaccinate Californians is no exception. While eligible people have been rushing around to acquire vaccines, an often forgotten group — the homebound — have largely relied on volunteers for help.

No longer. On March 23, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted in favor of a motion directing the Department of Public Health to assess the vaccine needs of homebound individuals and develop a plan to get shots into their homes. The resolution was introduced by Supervisor Hilda Solis with backing from a countywide group known as The Coalition for Mobile In Home Testing and Vaccinations. It passed 5-0.

“As vaccine eligibility has expanded to include all seniors and those with disabilities and severe underlying conditions, and vaccine supplies are increasing and becoming easier to store and administer Los Angeles County must find a way to bring COVID-19 vaccines directly to some of our most vulnerable residents – those who are homebound,” Solis said in a statement.

“Rates of homebound adults are estimated to be 5-6% across the United States, which would equate to over half a million people in Los Angeles County alone. Knowing that we have the infrastructure and networks in place to meet people where they are with programs like Meals on Wheels and In Home Support Services (IHSS), we can work to leverage these networks to bring life-saving vaccines directly to individuals.

These are individuals who have difficulty leaving their homes because of a disability or other health condition that puts them at a greater health risk. When we talk about vaccine equity, we must be inclusive of these vulnerable populations that need us to meet them where they are – at home. We cannot expect communities to come to us. We must come to them. Their lives depend on it.”

Read the motion here.