New program brings COVID-19 vaccine to homebound Chicagoans

An elderly couple from Portage Park received the vaccine Thursday morning.

SHARE New program brings COVID-19 vaccine to homebound Chicagoans
Mario Galan and Robbie Galan received the COVID-19 vaccineMarch 4, 2021 in Portage Park.

Mario Galan and Robbie Galan received the COVID-19 vaccineMarch 4, 2021 in Portage Park.

Chicago Fire Department

As seniors seek out vaccine appointments at the United Center and other locations, a new program is bringing the vaccine to residents unable to leave home.

Paramedics with the Chicago Fire Department on Thursday administered its first vaccines in a citywide pilot program intended to inoculate homebound seniors and those with disabilities.

In Portage Park, paramedics vaccinated Mario Galan, 78, and Robbie Galan, 72, along with their caregiver Jason Blundy —the first people inoculated in the program, according to the fire department.

Residents can register for the program on the city’s website.

The program is open to people who can’t leave home because doing so requires “considerable and taxing effort.”

Mario Galan and Robbie Galan received the COVID-19 vaccineMarch 4, 2021 in Portage Park.

Mario Galan and Robbie Galan received the COVID-19 vaccineMarch 4, 2021 in Portage Park.

Chicago Fire Department

Those eligible must be:

  • A senior or a person with a disability and require in-home assistance; or
  • Someone who uses equipment (like a ventilator, crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, etc.) or requires accessible transportation to leave home.

Paramedics will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which doesn’t need ultra-cold storage and requires only one dose.

The program began as residents 65 and older began to register for vaccine appointments at the United Center, where vaccinations will begin next week.

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