Led by Nina O’Connor, MD, chief of Palliative Care and chief medical officer of Penn Medicine at Home, the health system has vaccinated more than 1,000 senior citizens living in public housing, as well as more than 600 homebound Penn Medicine patients. The efforts are breaking down barriers — transportation, lack of internet access, and vaccine hesitancy — that may have prevented these Philadelphians from getting immunized, and putting the city one step closer to herd immunity.
Mass vaccine sites and vaccination based in health care facilities and pharmacies have helped a large number of individuals to get vaccinated, but it’s worth the effort to reach out to those left behind who can’t easily access these sites, O’Connor noted.
“It takes a lot of time, But it’s a really important supplement to the high-volume strategies,” she told the Philadelphia Inquirer for a story about mobile vaccine clinics reaching out to vulnerable communities. “This is how we are going to catch these other populations to make sure the vaccination is equitable,” she said. Penn Medicine’s outreach to patients at home was also featured on CBS3.