Effort underway to vaccinate people without homes

Posted at 4:47 PM, Jan 29, 2021

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- There is a new effort underway to make sure Richmond's homeless community receives COVID-19 vaccinations.

Dr. Patricia Cook leads the effort as Chief Medical Officer at Daily Planet Health Services -- a federal grantee.

They've vaccinated around 1,400 people as of Thursday, she said.

"We are going shelter to shelter to reach out to people to get them their COVID-19 vaccines," Dr. Patricia Cook, Chief Medical Officer, Daily Planet Health Services, said. "We're right around 1,000 over the next two weeks that we are going to be reaching out to."

Cook said she was glad this group was included early on in the vaccine rollout as many of the people they serve have been hit hard by the virus.

"COVID-19 had a disproportionate impact on black and brown people. We take care of a lot of Latinx community," she said.

One of those getting their vaccine at this event was Emmery Lomax.

He said he had no hesitation getting the shot as he's known several people who've died from the virus.

"They died before the vaccine got in. It's just unfortunate for them. So, I'm going to try to take advantage of it," Lomax said.

Tanecha Mines also got her vaccine. She needed a little more convincing.

"I did ask questions -- what was in the vaccine? They said it was safe and they explained to me how it works," Mines said.

Dr. Cook said aside from logistics, convincing those they help to take the vaccine has been a challenge.

She said those they have prior relationships with are more willing the accept the vaccine, but others may be less apt to do so over a lack of trust in the healthcare system.

"So we just keep coming back out and we'll just keep offering it until we get all of them projected, because the sooner we can end it, the sooner we can move towards getting housing solutions for people," she said.