Health Department in Sarasota County offering immunizations to homebound individuals

Service available just to county residents

The Department of Health in Sarasota (DOH-Sarasota), in coordination with the Sarasota County Health and Human Services Department, has begun offering “in-home vaccination services to residents of Sarasota County if they are not able to go to a clinic or other location to get vaccinated,” DOH-Sarasota announced this week.

Among the eligible people, a news release notes, may be those with disabilities and chronic health conditions, as well as children and caregivers.

“The homebound immunization service offers flu, pneumonia, and all authorized COVID-19 vaccines,” the release points out.

Aleksandra Fitzgibbons, manager of the DOH-Sarasota Immunizations Program, noted in the release that older adults are more likely to go to the hospital for some infectious diseases, including pneumonia, which is a leading cause of death for this age group.”

Examples of circumstances in which someone would be able to get in-home vaccinations follow, the release says:

  • Individuals of any age who are physically or mentally unable to leave the house.
  • Homebound individuals receiving home health services.
  • Individuals aged 65 and older who are unable to drive or to leave the house without proper transportation.

DOH-Sarasota staff does note that situations other than those described above “will be evaluated by the nurse through a phone interview.”

“This is not a complete list of who may receive an in-home vaccination,” the release points out.

“Additionally, caregivers of people using the in-home vaccination program may get vaccinated at the same time if they let the vaccinator know ahead of time,” the release adds. Caregivers are considered individuals who provide support to those who are homebound, including non-family members paid for their services, the release explains.

Persons may call 941-861-2784 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 request in-home vaccinations, the release says. “In-home visits take place every Wednesday and Thursday,” the release adds.

For individuals with health insurance policies provided by Traditional Medicare (A & B), Blue Cross Blue Shield (Florida Blue except My Blue), Aetna and Aetna Medicare Advantage, the costs of flu and pneumonia vaccines are covered, the release notes. However, the release says, “Co-payments may apply.”

“For individuals with NO health insurance,” the release emphasizes, the costs are as follows: flu vaccine (regular dose), $20; flu high dose, $79.34; flu vaccine for individuals allergic to egg products, $79.34; and pneumonia vaccines, $20.

COVID-19 vaccines are administered at no cost to the individual,” the release adds