Dixie Meyer, 28 year veteran registered nurse at the Rush County Health Department, has been working hard, with the help of Alicia Hill, -who is also a registered nurse and has been with the department for a year, -to vaccinate homebound patients living in Rush County.

Since Jan 15th, the two have vaccinated 55 homebound Rush County residents. Thirty seven of those patients have completed both parts of the two dose series Moderna vaccine; the other remaining eighteen individuals have gotten their first shot and are in the 28 day period, waiting on their second shot to complete their series of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Meyer shared that the population that they’re providing these vaccinations to bear the challenge of leaving their homes. She stated, “Those we vaccinate are mostly elderly or handicapped who cannot, for different reasons, go to a clinic or pharmacy to receive the vaccine, usually it is a hardship to get them out of the home.”

Homebound vaccinating is not a service that has been available in every county; Rush County was one of the first to be able to offer this to county residents. Meyer shared, “We started this approximately a month before the State Board of Health started their program. Now there is a State Homebound Program Portal where health departments can check for patients who have been registered to receive the vaccine.” She also shared that most counties are using the EMS personnel to administer the requested doses. Since Rush County, prior to the pandemic, already had a homecare program available to residents, our nurses were used to going out in the community to care for patients. “This was a very natural transition to start vaccinating the homebound,” Meyer stated.

Meyer and Hill have spent time reaching out to other agencies that work specifically with homebound individuals to share that Rush County offers this service to residents. Many of the health department's referrals have come from those agencies or from word-of-mouth, as this news has also been shared on their Facebook page.

All vaccinations are entered into CHIRP, the Children and Hoosier Immunization Registry Program, to accurately account for shots given.
Meyer shared, “If you know of anyone who lives in our community who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please call 765-932-3103 and we will make arrangements to vaccinate them!”