HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina has about 97,000 people who are considered homebound, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
That’s why it’s critical to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to them. In Orange County, they’re making it happen.
“Certainly this is the kind of service that can help save money and make it a lot easier for people getting the vaccine,” said Todd McGee, Orange County spokesman.
McGee said this is a service the county has been offering since the vaccine became available.
“We have a lot of retirees in Orange County. We have a little more than other counties percentage-wise who were in that initial group 75 and over, 65 and older,” McGee explained. “We have a good aging department and they know who these people are and may need help.”
Here’s how the program works: If a homebound person in Orange County needs a vaccination, they can call the hotline to request an appointment, and they will be connected with the community paramedics to schedule the appointment.
If they live in another county, the caller will be connected to their local health department.
McGee said Orange County has provided this service to several people in the community so far and it’s helping provide some quality of life.
“They want to be able to get back to what was normal for them beforehand, even if they are homebound. They will still like visitors, friends, and family. Getting those folks protected so they can get back to normal life is important too.”
If you’re interested in this service, call the COVID Vaccine Hotline at (919) 913-8088. It is staffed seven days per week, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., although it will be closed this weekend due to the holiday.