With summer just a few weeks away, Shelby County and our nation seem well on the road toward a return to normalcy.
But as eager as we are to get back to our lives before the coronavirus pandemic, it is critical that we continue to make progress getting Shelby County residents vaccinated against COVID-19.
We have had efforts that gave folks vaccines in their cars and at various locations throughout the county.
But one effort that we’re particularly proud of is the work done by our Aging Commission of the Mid-South, part of the Shelby County Division of Community Services.
Before the coronavirus, the Aging Commission’s work included home-delivered meals, help with housekeeping, personal care assistance, and special services for caregivers.
With the availability of the COVID vaccine, the Aging Commission has launched a significant outreach program for homebound seniors, county residents with a disability who are homebound, and their caregivers.
Our Aging Commission has made direct calls to more than 2,300 seniors and others who are confined to their homes and in need.
Right now, more than 150 people have received their coronavirus vaccines at home as a result of their efforts.
The Aging Commission has reached out to nearly 50 senior residential facilities to offer vaccines to residents. And so far, arrangements have been made with 10 senior living facilities that have taken us up on that offer.
Through the Aging Commission’s efforts, we expect to deliver more than 3,000 vaccines to seniors and caregivers.
Since this pandemic first reached our county, Shelby Health Department data shows that 71% of the Shelby County residents who succumbed to the coronavirus were 65 or older.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that 79% of those who died from COVID were in that same age group.
COVID 19 has hit our seniors and it has hit them hard.
If you know of a homebound senior or a person with a disability, talk to them about getting the vaccine. If you get a call yourself from the Aging Commission, think about getting the vaccine yourself. Or call them at 901-222-4111.
Each one of these programs is relatively small when juxtaposed against our vaccination goal, but each one of the events adds up and is the way we will make progress.
I’ve been in a few campaigns. And I know that if you want to knock on 10,000 doors, the only way to do that is one door at a time.
It’s the same for the vaccines, one dose at a time.
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