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Initiative Bringing COVID Vaccines To Homebound Seniors On Long Island

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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 home-bound, many of whom want to get the coronavirus shot.

- So local medical initiatives are springing up, bringing door-to-door vaccines. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan has more on that.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: It's a race against the clock to get to their home-bound patients. Dr. Karen Abrashkin is Medical Director of Norhtwell Health's House Call Team. Vials kept cold in car freezers. And once opened, minus 6 hours before the vaccine is spoiled.

- How are you doing?

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.

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

ESTHER COHEN: No hassle with the sleeves.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Medical team maps out the 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.

KAREN ABRASHKIN: It's been a long time, right?

ESTHER COHEN: I haven't been out 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 home bound. 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.

KAREN ABRASHKIN: This is the Johnston & Johnson, so it's just one shot.

RENEE SLOAN: It was wonderful. I just want to get it for 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.

KAREN ABRASHKIN: 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, CBS2 News.

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

- They make house calls. That is unique.

- So important, especially now.

- Yes.