It’s a race against the coronavirus to protect the most vulnerable neighbors.

Syracuse-based Nascentia Health is one of two New York programs bringing a vaccine to homebound patients.

“Well, it’s kind of funny cause everything goes full circle, right?” said Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay, Nascentia Health chief clinical officer. “Because back in the day, home care is who provided the vaccines. Health care workers went to the patients, went to people’s homes, and provided the care and vaccines. Here we are 100 years later, finally doing the same thing.”

What You Need To Know

  • Nascentia Health received 300 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to inoculate homebound patients
  • The program is one of two in New York State
  • The J&J vaccine is easy to transport because its requires normal refrigeration and only one dose

The Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot is what makes the life-changing program possible, according to Lazarek-LaQuay. They bring the vials around in lunch box-like coolers with layers of cardboard, bubble wrap, and icepacks.

“This you can store at typical refrigerator temperatures and still be able to transport it over several hours, so we are able to meet those people who are in the rural areas and throughout the counties,” said Lazarek-LaQuay.

Nascentia Health is starting with 300 doses of the vaccine this week. Clinicians are offering doses to their patients and live-in caregivers. They said it’s more than a ticket for patients to leave their homes.

“For many people, they’ve really limited the amount of care that they’re willing to receive, and now that health care providers and they can have the vaccine, they’re more likely to get the full care that they need,” said Lazarek-LaQuay.

Nascentia Health is compiling a list of other homebound patients from other health care providers in hopes of expanding the program in the coming weeks. If you or a loved on is eligible for a vaccine and homebound in Onondaga County, you can email to get added to the list.