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Task Force discusses COVID-19 vaccine accessibility for homebound islanders

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Mar 24, 2021

pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com

At the Monday, March 15, Pine Island COVID-19 Task Force meeting, the group discussed accessibility to vaccines among different Florida counties.

Task Force member Martha Huard, who has been giving vaccine shots, said the Charlotte Convention Center has recently taken walk-in appointments for qualified vaccine seekers.

According to Sue Dahod, another Task Force member, each state has its own system, and she notes in Ohio there is a single tracking system for every vaccine available.

Task Force member Ellen Ballard expressed concern over whether or not there is a record of homebound islanders with any of the island organizations, and offered to compile a list of those who may find difficulty getting out.

Dahod volunteered to contact Benjamin Abes, director of Public Safety for Emergency Response and Communications and Chief of the Division of Emergency Medical Services, to find out how to go about serving the homebound.

“We’re going to need to gather information and facilitate the transfer back and forth to the Department of Health and EMS and then back to the people who need to know when the appointment is coming,” said Dahod.

Fellow Task Force member Jim McLaughlin pointed out the possibility that many of the homebound may not have email or access to a computer.

Another overall concern of the group is for undocumented people who are fearful to come forward to receive the vaccine because they may not want to be in the system.