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University partners with MedStar to deliver at-home vaccine doses, reopens on-campus clinic

University partners with MedStar to deliver at-home vaccine doses, reopens on-campus clinic

University partners with MedStar to deliver at-home vaccine doses, reopens on-campus clinic
July 15
08:00 2021

The university has reopened its on-campus vaccination clinic while the Health Science Center has partnered with MedStar of Fort Worth to help vaccinate homebound individuals against COVID-19.

As of July 11, 58.71 percent of Texans — or 14,131,454 people — have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Department of State Health Services. However, not everyone has been able to get vaccinated because they are homebound due to age, disability or other conditions. Through the HSC and MedStar partnership, North Texans now have the opportunity to receive the vaccine without leaving their home.

“Even people who are homebound are still at risk for contracting the coronavirus,” MedStar’s Chief Transformation Officer Matt Zavadsky said. “Because they have people who come deliver their meals, family members visit and repairmen come into their homes.”

MedStar is a mobile health care facility that provides life support ambulance services for emergency and non-emergency situations. It also provides ambulance services to all of Tarrant County. The vaccination program is open to people in MedStar’s service area, which includes Fort Worth and its surrounding 14 cities in Tarrant County.

“As part of the community’s desire to get more people vaccinated, even folks who are homebound, this is a logical partnership to use our EMS and resources to be able to literally go and give people vaccines,” Zavadsky said.

MedStar and HSC’s program will offer doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Any resident who is homebound primarily due to medical issues is eligible and the vaccinations will be administered by MedStar’s EMTs and paramedics. Those interested in setting up an at-home vaccination appointment can register online at tarrantcountystrong.com.

So far, nine homebound residents have been vaccinated through the program, Zavadsky said. Ten people are registered for at-home vaccinations this week.

As of July 7, 33 percent of Tarrant County has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 30 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to Tarrant County Public Health. MedStar and HSC aim increase the number of fully vaccinated residents. In terms of how the duration of the program, Zavadsky said MedStar is “willing to do it as long as UNT is willing to do it.”

On campus, the university’s vaccination clinic has reopened after a temporary closure. Both students and staff are eligible for free walk-in appointments at Chestnut Hall. The clinic is open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Clinic hours on the first, third and fifth Wednesdays of the month are 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. It is open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.

“We plan to continue providing vaccines on campus as long as we can get vaccine allocations from the Texas Department of State Health Services,” said Kerry Stanhope, Assistant Director of the Student Health and Wellness Center.

On-campus vaccination appointments are limited to the first 20 people each day and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“[After starting vaccinations on March 24] we have provided over 5,000 vaccinations to students and employees,” Stanhope said. “Because some versions of the COVID vaccine requires two doses for full protection, that equates to around 3,000 individuals were vaccinated.”

This fall, the university plans on returning to campus with the traditional face-to-face classroom experience. A voluntary vaccine incentive program has been launched to further promote COVID-19 vaccinations among students and staff. Everyone who participates will receive a Dining Services meal voucher as well as become eligible to win more than 30 prizes per week.

The university will award more than 2,500 total prizes, including tickets to sporting events, gift cards, a Highland Street Garage parking pass and more. People who have already been vaccinated are still able to participate by uploading their vaccination documentation. More information on how to become involved in the incentive program can be found at healthalerts.unt.edu/vaccine.

“I encourage everyone to get vaccinated,” President Neal Smatresk told the North Texas Daily.

Featured Image: MedStar Mobile Healthcare truck leaving Fort Worth headquarters parking lot on July 10, 2021. Image by Laura Nunez

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