Initiative Bringing COVID Vaccines To Homebound Seniors On Long Island

There's no system in place to get homebound seniors a COVID vaccine. So, local medical initiatives are popping up to bring the vaccines door-to-door. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

- There is no system in place for reaching the homebound, many of whom want to get the coronavirus shot.

- So local medical initiatives are springing up, bringing door-to-door vaccines. CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan has more on that.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: It's a race against the clock to get to their homebound patients. Dr. Karen Abrashkin is medical director of Northwell Health's housecall team. Vials kept cold in car freezers and once opened, minus six hours before the vaccine is spoiled.

- How are you doing?

- It's going.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: 101-year-old Esther Cohen, who loved Broadway and the arts, is too frail to go to a clinic or queue up at a vaccination site.

- I'm going to go ahead and take your vital signs. It's a nice day to be giving vaccines.

ESTHER COHEN: [INAUDIBLE] the sleeves.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Medical team maps out route a cluster of homes in the same vicinity screening by phone, then they arrive at the front door.

ESTHER COHEN: I haven't been out.

- It's been a long time, right?

ESTHER COHEN: I haven't done that since the beginning of this. I'm very fortunate that I'm able to talk to my children. And I water my plants, and I find something to do. Lonely, but not that bad really.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: At least 2 million Americans are homebound. There is no central registry, so it's more difficult to find and reach those who are geographically dispersed and isolated.

RENEE SLOAN: I was lonely, even though I'm very fortunate.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Renee Sloan, a retired New York City schoolteacher, passionate about golf and bridge.

RENEE SLOAN: I'm looking forward to meet my friends to play cards and just to socialize with them.

- This is the Johnson & Johnson, so it's just one shot.

RENEE SLOAN: It was wonderful. I just want to get the rest of my family.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: And Esther is also effusive, never dreaming this day would come.

ESTHER COHEN: I told my children. I said, I love Dr. Abrashkin. I really do. Do girls fall in love? All right, I fell in love.

[LAUGHTER]

- Good. I'm so glad this all worked out.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: And now it's time to hit the road again. On Long Island, Jennifer McLogan, CBS 2 News.

- Northwell Health's housecall team cares for patients on Long Island, also in Queens and Manhattan.

- They make house calls. That is unique.

- So important.

- It's very--

- Especially now.

- Yes.