Monday, March 22, 2021

Austin Public Health and Meals on Wheels Collaborate on Mobile Vaccination Program


Austin Public Health and Meals on Wheels Central Texas Collaborate to Bring the COVID-19 Vaccine to
Homebound Elders


Austin, Texas Today, Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX) and Austin Public Health (APH) kicked off their mobile vaccine partnership with the first MOWCTX clients receiving their COVID-19 vaccines at their homes. The two agencies are collaborating to bring the vaccines to older adults who are homebound and medically vulnerable.

The APH Mobile Vaccination Program (MVP) is responsible for serving hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations in Austin and Travis County who are homebound. Seniors in our community remain most at risk of serious health consequences from COVID-19, and MOWCTX worked with APH to identify its most frail and medically compromised clients for this first round of mobile vaccinations.

"The homebound older adults we serve at Meals on Wheels Central Texas are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 complications. This is why we believe it is critical that they have access to vaccines as soon as possible," said Adam Hauser, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels Central Texas. "We are grateful for this collaboration with Austin Public Health that enables our most vulnerable clients to get vaccinated in their homes. The mobile vaccine program is part of our enduring partnership with the City of Austin to support homebound seniors in need in our community."

In the future, as more vaccine becomes available and state eligibility expands, the MVP may increase to entire households beyond just the high-risk homebound patient. Currently, the program has the capacity of distributing up to 400 vaccines a week, but APH will determine how much it will allocate as supply remains limited. The program also provides on-site vaccine clinics at assisted living and independent living residential properties for seniors.

"We need to meet people where they are," said Stephanie Hayden-Howard, Austin Public Health Director. "With a pandemic, government agencies have to be more flexible with their operations than ever before, and we have to continue our holistic approach from large-scale vaccine operations to community partnerships with the Mobile Vaccine Program."

More details: 

  • The partnership between the MVP and MOWCTX started on Monday, Mar. 22.  
  • The first round will be in the central area and this specific partnership will only cover clients in Travis County.
  • Approximately 66 MOWCTX clients were vaccinated today, Mar. 22, and the partnership will continue weekly through April.
  • A spouse and/or caregiver will also receive a shot if they fall within the 1B or 1C category.  


B-roll of a patient visit along with English and Spanish interviews can be found HERE. Interviewees include:

  • Linda Perez, VP for Client Services 
  • Stephanie Hayden-Howard, APH Director 
  • Stephanie Helfman, APH Program Manager 
  • Pam Morgan, 72-year-old APH Patient/MOWCTX Client