OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The process of getting the COVID-19 vaccine out to the community is well underway, but getting the vaccine to those who cannot leave their home has been challenging.
An independent pharmacy in Osceola County has partnered with the health department to give the vaccine to homebound seniors.
For homebound seniors Herbert Thomas and Lydia Espina, this program has been a life saver.
Erik Larson is the owner of Prescriptions Unlimited, and he has now administered Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine for 1,000 people in their own home.
Prescriptions Unlimited has done flu and shingle shots for homebound senior before, and Larson said it was a “no-brainer” when the county called and asked for help.
Thomas is one of those seniors who needed help. The 93-year-old Thomas is blind and his family lives in the U.K. “I was worried how am I going to get it, yes,” Thomas said. “I can’t see, I can’t go online. I don’t go anywhere.”
Although Thomas doesn’t go anywhere, the possibility of him contracting COVID-19 is still high, with all the people constantly coming to his home delivering meals and groceries and providing medical care.
On Wednesday, with the help of Prescriptions Unlimited, Thomas was able to get his vaccine.
“I am feeling on top of the world, I am feeling very happy,” said Thomas.
“It’s extremely rewarding for all of us,” Larson said of his partnership with the Osceola Heath Department. “We already have the setup and the personnel who were just actually incorporating this into our plan.”
Homebound senior Lydia Espina has cancer and had to have her left leg amputated. Due to her high risk and lack of mobility, she knew drive-thru or walk-up sites wouldn’t work for her.
On Wednesday, Espina received her vaccine with the help of Larson and Prescription Unlimited.
“This is wonderful, I’m so glad,” said Espina. “It’s a privilege to have them come do the vaccine in the house.”
Osceola County was one of the first in the state to initiate a homebound effort, and now Larson has people from all over Central Florida calling him and his team.
“We’re getting a lot of calls from patients in Orlando and in Polk County now asking if we can come to them,” Larson said.