Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Demand for COVID-19 Vaccine Home Visits Decreases in 2023


Mobile Vaccination Program conducted 864 home visits last year and will reallocate resources toward long-term care facilities

Austin Public Health (APH) will be ending its Mobile Vaccination Program (MVP) Home Visit Program on Jan. 31, 2023, after offering at-home vaccine services to our community in the last two years. 

“Home visits were essential in APH’s efforts to increase vaccine access, especially for those who were immobile and unable to visit a clinic. Patients who requested a visit received a COVID-19 vaccine from one of APH’s trained nursing staff,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup.  

The program’s success was apparent in the demand APH saw – At its height, the waitlist for home visits topped 500. The MVP was able to reduce the waitlist to zero by the end of 2022. 

In 2023, the demand for home visits has dropped significantly, allowing efforts and resources to focus on other priority populations, including senior centers and long-term care facilities. 

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the community at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and other providers. Visit Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) to find flu and COVID-19 vaccine providers near you. 

Members of the public can schedule an appointment at APH’s Shots for Tots clinics by calling 512-972-5520. 

Free COVID-19 tests    

Free mail-order rapid antigen test kits are available once again through covid.gov/tests. Households are eligible for another round of four tests for a limited time.    

At-home COVID-19 test kits are available at APH Neighborhood Centers while supplies last. The U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services also lists community-based testing sites online.     

Free masks (N-95 respirators)     

Use the CDC’s mask-locator tool to find pharmacies near you that provide free masks (N-95 respirators). It does not show current inventories, so check with the location for availability.  

About Austin Public Health  

Austin Public Health is the health department for the City of Austin and Travis County. Austin Public Health works to prevent disease, promote health and protect the well-being of all by monitoring and preventing infectious diseases and environmental threats and educating about the benefits of preventative behaviors to avoid chronic diseases and improve health outcomes.