CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The Chesterfield Fire and EMS heroes who went into homes to vaccinate hundreds of bedbound people in the spring were taking their work full circle in the fall with the roll-out of COVID booster shots.
Between March and June, the Chesterfield Fire & EMS Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) Unit Initiative vaccinated 342 individuals from the comfort of their homes.
On Monday, that same small team began the work of going back into homes to administer booster shots. On Tuesday, CBS6 got to ride along.
"We’re doing everything we can to meet these people where they are," said Lt. David Bigelow, Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program Manager.
The first stop was a home in Bon Air where Kenneth Fleet was greeted by familiar faces.
Within minutes, Fleet received his booster shot.
"Got the booster today because back in the last day of January and start of February, I had three strokes in about a week. And the third stroke threw me out -- my leg went totally out," said Fleet. "These guys picked me up three times."
Fleet added that he wouldn’t have been able to get his COVID shot without the help of the MIH Unit and was glad to now have his booster dose.
“I’ll be able to continue without worrying about that virus.”
Miles away, the MIH Unit later pulled up to Heather Hoy’s home. The 47-year-old said she had originally made two unsuccessful attempts to get her first dose of the vaccine.
“I’m not wheelchair-bound yet, but I have degenerative spine disease, so I can’t stand or walk for more than five minutes."
That’s when she reached out to the MIH Unit.
“I got a call three days later for my first shot, I cried. I cried because it’s such a blessing to me,” said Hoy. “I’m new to being disabled and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. They walked me through it and kept me calm. And this is my booster. My third one, so I kind of feel like the family now.”
After receiving her booster shot Tuesday morning, Hoy said she felt ‘relieved,’ ‘thankful,’ and ‘blessed.’
A Chesterfield County Spokesperson said so far, 14 individuals had received their booster from the MIH Unit since the Unit began administering them Monday. Five of those were administered Tuesday.
Lt. Bigelow said they planned to offer in-home booster vaccinations to all 342 residents they initially vaccinated and planned to reach out to those residents directly.
“We vaccinated a total of 92 people with the Pfizer vaccine, which was at the beginning of our process. We vaccinated 239 with Johnson and Johnson, and we only vaccinated 3 with Moderna,” said Lt. Bigelow. “So the ones at the beginning have been the Pfizer recipients. We are now beginning the process of contacting the Johnson and Johnson recipients to be able to provide them with a booster as well.”
Lt. Bigelow said they had reached out to Pfizer recipients but still had another 242 individuals they planned to contact.
Bedbound residents who were not initially vaccinated through the MIH Unit Initiative and would like to receive their initial COVID-19 vaccine in their homes were asked to reach out to the Chesterfield Health District at (804) 748-1691.
Lt. Bigelow said people who were not able to leave their house without the assistance of a wheelchair, walker, crutches or another person qualified for this service.