Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside liked seeing people rush to get vaccinated. They liked watching the numbers tick up every day by the hundreds, sometimes thousands.
Those numbers are no longer jumping by leaps and bounds. Appointments aren’t being filled. Offers for appointment-free vaccines are not taken.
“There’s a little bit of vaccine hesitancy that’s still going on,” said Dr. Nina Chaya, an anesthesiologist at Tri-City.
Chaya also said there are still thousands of homebound seniors who simply can’t get out to get the vaccine, which is why she spent her Monday driving around in a Tri-City van with a cooler full of vaccine.
“We have the opportunity to come out into the community and vaccinate our patients in the community that cannot make it to the hospital or any other facility to get vaccinated,” Chaya said.
Chaya’s efforts were part of Tri-City Medical Center’s Homebound Senior Program. Patients or their caregivers simply have to call 211 to make an appointment and a nurse or doctor will come on their doorstep.
“It’s a really big part of what we want to do as a community hospital, is being there for our community,” she said.
On Monday, Chaya visited the Vista home of Phillip and Linda Setter. Linda often uses a wheelchair to get around, and it’s been difficult to find a way for both of them to get the vaccine together.
“We’ve been locked up so long now,” Phillip said. “It would be nice to not have to be concerned about it. I really appreciate that, because it gets it done.”
Tri-City Medical Center has vaccinated more than 26,000 people at the hospital. Since late April, the program has vaccinated hundreds more in their homes. A spokesman said they have a rotation of doctors and nurses that goes out two to three times a week to administer the vaccine to seniors.
“We are all in this together,” said a smiling Chaya. “We will get through it all together if we all do it the right way.”