It’s amazing how during COVID-19 things feel like a time warp – the days are long but the year is short! Same goes for the feeling of activity, with almost everyone working from home, things feel quiet when in reality things are buzzing for us at IOA – including vaccinations.
How we got the vaccine:
We were lucky enough to be one of many agencies in San Francisco to be able to vaccinate staff. The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) contacted us in January, informing us that we had been identified as a prioritized agency for vaccination and San Francisco based staff were eligible for vaccination. You can imagine, we were happy to hear the news. Our mission of helping aging adults and adults living with disabilities age in the place they call home is near and dear to our hearts, and our staff work tirelessly for our clients. Especially during COVID-19, when staff have had to pivot from meeting with clients in their homes and building a relationship with them in person to having more phone and video calls. This change has made their work more difficult, but our staff persevered and built new ways to connect with those who are even more housebound than ever before.
Working with a partner agency to administer the vaccine, we are happy to report that our San Francisco based home care aides, client facing staff, operationally critical staff, and employees 65+ years old have been vaccinated. (Last dose will be administered this week.) This is a big win for many reasons, while our current remote practices will remain in place, staff who must see clients can rest a little easier knowing they will not contract the virus and are less likely to spread the virus to others. Our stringent PPE protocols will remain as they are and in-person meetings will still be held only when absolutely necessary, but this provides a sense of relief to our staff. Serving those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 has been an honor and we are so proud that we have made life a little easier for our clients during these remarkable times.
It’s not just staff:
We are also so happy to announce that we have begun to get our clients vaccinated as well. Working with our PACE partner, we have been able to begin vaccinating IOA PACE clients with SFDPH designated vaccines. Administering 20 vaccines per day, thus far we have been able to vaccinate 200 of our vulnerable clients!
We know that this pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone, but more so for the people we serve and their families. With the closure of our day centers, families have felt the strain of a lost resource and our aging adults have missed their social connections. We aim to be, now and in the future, a safe haven for our clients and their families. We see these vaccinations, for staff and clients, as the first step toward a world where our day centers are reopened and families and clients can rely on IOA for enrichment and respite once again.
We will continue on:
IOA has grown well beyond just the San Francisco footprint and we are working hard to get staff across California vaccinated. As you may know, vaccine regulations vary county by county and we are working with our various partners and Departments of Public Health across California to get all of our client facing staff vaccinated. We look forward to the day that we can report to you – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
In the meantime, we will keep our work from home policies, our strict PPE protocols, and keep our Pandemic Planning & Protocols Committee working to ensure we are doing all we can to stop this deadly virus from spreading.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all for your support. We look forward to sharing more good news with you in the future!