It was as if a higher power had something to do with getting a coronavirus vaccine into Greg McNaughton’s New Alexandria home on Monday.
“Ave Maria” played on the television in McNaughton’s room while his left arm was injected with the vaccine by Lorenzo Garino, director of operations with Mutual Aid Ambulance. The 72-year-old man said he was happy the inoculation was brought to his doorstep.
“I was concerned about not getting the shot, so it’s a relief that they were willing to do this,” McNaughton said.
EMS providers around the county are working with Excela Health, the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety and the United Way to connect coronavirus vaccines to homebound adults. The groups gathered 179 names of homebound individuals. Mutual Aid paramedics fanned out across the county Monday to take care of about 50 of them.
“The people that are getting them from us really shouldn’t be leaving their houses,” Garino said.
Each ambulance crew had a list of names and addresses located near each other and a vial of the Moderna vaccine containing about 10 doses. They had 12 hours to use it up, but most of the appointments were being handled within a four-hour window. On Monday, paramedics hit homes in Latrobe, New Alexandria, Unity, Delmont, Ligonier and Greensburg. They will return in 28 days to administer the second dose.
In Westmoreland County, nearly 37,000 individuals are partially covered by the vaccine and 126,000 people have been fully immunized, according to state department of health figures.
On South Urania Street in Greensburg, Vincent Brown was happy the vaccine was hand-delivered to his 94-year-old mother-in-law, Marjorie Roberts. It can be difficult for her to get around and the in-home option was much easier.
“They’re godsends, especially for her,” Brown said.