Vaccinating Homebound Seniors


What is the COVID-19 vaccination rate among low-income homebound seniors in St. Louis City?
How will outreach to provide in-home vaccination for COVID-19 increase vaccination rates?

The St. Louis Area Agency on Aging (SLAAA) supports five locally operated senior centers who deliver meals on a weekly basis to eligible homebound senior citizens. The clients served through the meal delivery program are predominantly low-income women who are African American. The need for meal delivery services expanded during the pandemic as senior centers were not able to offer in-person congregate meals.

This program focused on senior citizens residing in St. Louis City who receive meal delivery services through five senior centers. Starting in September 2021, SLAAA has made outreach calls to 2,000 seniors who receive meal delivery services to ask about vaccination status, reasons for vaccine resistance, offer primary vaccination series and/or boosters. In addition, the outreach callers also asked the clients about meal quality and offered assistance with other basic needs such as rent or utility assistance, incontinence supplies, etc.

Residents of St. Louis City were encouraged to travel to walk-up or drive-thru vaccination sites or visit local pharmacies to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Challenges in making vaccination appointments and traveling to vaccination sites presented challenges for many homebound seniors. This program evaluated the interest and need for vaccination and booster shots among homebound seniors, as well as delivered vaccination services.

This study partners with SLAAA, a government agency, with the infrastructure to reach a population with limited mobility and limited access to vaccination sites. Additionally, SLAAA partnered with other local entities including the health department, emergency medical services, and private entities to deliver in-home vaccinations and boosters for COVID-19.


Karen Skinner