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Sanford Health offering COVID-19 vaccine for homebound people

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For many, getting the COVID-19 vaccine can be as easy as signing up and going into the clinic to get your shot. But not everyone is able to do that.

Some of the most at-risk patients have had to wait at home in order to be vaccinated. Greg and his wife Cheryl have wanted to get him vaccinated. But due to his chronic illness, it just wasn’t possible, this was until Sanford’s at-home health care team stepped in to help make it happen.

“This is great. He’s usually in so much pain. It’s really hard for him to get out,” said Cheryl.

Greg Bodenhamer suffers from MS. His wife Cheryl takes care of him with the help of Sanford’s Home Health team.

“We come into patient’s homes and take care of them,” said Sanford Home Health nurse Lisa Hansen.

“For Greg, we come in every three weeks and help change his catheter and check his blood work for him.”

While most people are able to go and get their shot, some patients like Greg have a much more difficult time getting out to get to the vaccine clinic.

“I wanted it so bad but there was nothing I could do I didn’t think,” said Greg.

Cheryl says they’ve been eager to get him vaccinated, but haven’t been able to since he’s in too much pain when he leaves the house.

“So, I’ve been asking ever since the vaccine was able to be in town here when we would be able to get it for him here at the house,” said Cheryl.

And Tuesday was finally the day. Greg’s at-home care team was able to administer the single-dose shot of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

“People at Sanford have a lot to do with this shot. I just want to thank them so much for giving me this shot,” Greg said.

“There are some patients where they can get out to the vaccine clinics and that works for them and there are other patients where that’s very difficult. So, it means a lot to Greg and his family to be able to get this vaccine delivered to his home and given right here,” said Hansen.

In two weeks, Greg will be considered fully immunized and ready to see family members that haven’t been able to come around as much.

“Extremely grateful because now we can have the rest of our family, who have all been vaccinated, come over a little more readily,” said Cheryl.

“Because they’ve been really hesitant to come over because of him having MS and his being housebound. He’s more susceptible to getting infections.”

“I don’t know what else to say other than I know I’m protected at least one more step to keep me alive and that’s important,” said Greg.

This at-home vaccination is currently available to any Sanford Home Health patients in Sioux Falls, Fargo, Bismarck, and Bemidji. Sanford does plan to expand the services to rural areas in the near future.

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