COVID-19 vaccine home visits made for seniors with medical conditions

As Minnesota gets ready to open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people 16 and older, health care workers are doing what they can to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Bob Lill has lost three friends to complications caused by COVID-19, so when the opportunity to get his COVID-19 vaccination came around, he knew he had to take it.

"I think it was a great deal and I advise everybody to take advantage of it," Lill said.

The 73-year-old’s multiple sclerosis gives him trouble with walking, making trips out of the house problematic. So, he was worried he wouldn’t be able to get his shot.

"I’m not the very best of health to begin with, and I think it’s important for everybody to get the vaccination to be on the safe side," Lill said.

Rather than going to get the vaccine, the vaccine had to come to him.

"I just got the one shot and I’m done. She said I should be careful for two weeks and after that I should be free to go out in the community, which I haven’t done in quite a while," Lill said.

The vaccine has made it to 60 patients so far, including Bob. It’s being delivered by a team from Allina Health, going door-to-door to vaccinate people over the age of 65 years old who can’t leave their homes because of medical conditions.

"The trick is finding five people in a similar area so we’re not driving from Forest Lake all the way to Shakopee," Allina Health’s Dr Josie Davis said. Dr. Davis is behind the needle for many of the vaccinations.

"She’s a very, very nice person. She’s very personable," Lill said of Davis. "It’s very unusual these days where a doctor comes to your home."

"It’s a joy to do, it does take some effort extra effort in planning an entire day when we would normally be seeing patients, but we’re happy to do it," Dr. Davis told FOX 9.

Some of the nurses are even doing it on their days off.

"They are very excited and very relieved that we can bring the vaccine into the home and administer it to them," Allina Health Nurse Practitioner Julie Whelan said.

"It’s a slick operation," Lill added. "It takes about two minutes and you’re done. I feel 100 percent safer. I think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread."