Skip to main content
Move the World.
firefighters deliver covid vaccines

Lead Image firetruck © nerthuz / Adobe Stock; syringe © BillionPhotos.com / Adobe Stock

The tragic war with SARS-CoV-2 seems to be at a turning point. 

An array of highly effective vaccines are now capable of practically eliminating severe COVID-19, including the three approved for thus far in the U.S. — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Having the weapon is only half the battle, however; a vaccine does nothing sitting in a freezer. Jabs must go into arms, or people will continue to die.

A vaccination campaign of the scale being undertaken now is unprecedented in modern times, as millions upon millions of shots will go into arms around the world every day. We're in a race to stop the pandemic before the virus can generate an escape mutation.

But getting shots to people isn't the only challenge; sometimes, the hardest part is getting people to shots.

Homebound seniors represent one of the groups at highest risk of severe illness or death, but they can also have a hard time getting to a vaccine clinic or the technological ability to book appointments. 

In Corpus Christi, Texas, the fire department has hit on a solution: deliver the vaccines to their door. CCFD has been delivering Moderna vaccines to seniors that are part of the Meals on Wheels program since late January, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.

Among those vaccinated was 95-year-old Alicia Perez. Her daughter Jo Ann Garza was having a difficult time getting Perez a vaccine appointment, when she got a call she didn't recognize. 

"I don't normally answer the phone with numbers I don't know, but I picked it up," Garza told CNN. "The lady was like 'We would like to register your mother and we will send a firefighter to her house to vaccinate her.'"

Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo told CNN that the program was inspired by her parents, who are in their 80s. 

"It's about finding those populations that are harder to reach for many reasons," Guajardo said. "I believe that every mayor in the state and country should take vaccinations directly to senior citizens and the homebound in their home."

Corpus Christi, Texas, has hit on a solution: have firefighters deliver vaccines right to seniors' doors.

After the city's Meals on Wheels list was exhausted, a weekly hotline was opened where people can call to set up appointments for seniors and people with disabilities as the city broadens the program. 

"More vaccination opportunities are coming and we thank our residents for their patience," the mayor said in a city press release.

On the scheduled day, the firefighters will arrive and administer the vaccine, and schedule a return for the booster dose. "They are very nice and cordial," Garza told CNN about the firefighters. "They sat with her the 15 minutes after to make sure there wasn't any side effects." 

With antibodies now coursing through her body, Garza's mother asked to go shopping and get her hair cut (same, Alicia, same).

"She's a handful and has a very strong will and mindset," Garza said. "She's set to live till she's 100. Now she can with the vaccine."

We'd love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Freethink story, please email us at [email protected]

Up Next

If you want to understand a problem, talk to the people working on solutions. Join us as we meet the people and explore the ideas on the frontlines of an unprecedented global response.

Coronavirus
These “Nanotraps” Capture SARS-CoV-2 for the Immune System to Kill
These “Nanotraps” Capture SARS-CoV-2 for the Immune System to Kill
Coronavirus
These “Nanotraps” Capture SARS-CoV-2 for the Immune System to Kill
Inspired by cancer cells, researchers have developed “Nanotraps” which lock up SARS-CoV-2 for the immune system to kill it.

Inspired by cancer cells, researchers have developed “Nanotraps” which lock up SARS-CoV-2 for the immune system to kill it.

Coronavirus
The Coronavirus Can Survive on Surfaces for 28 Days
Coronavirus Can Survive on Surfaces
Coronavirus
The Coronavirus Can Survive on Surfaces for 28 Days
The coronavirus can survive on surfaces, including money, for up to 28 days. But does that change what you need to do to avoid catching COVID-19?

The coronavirus can survive on surfaces, including money, for up to 28 days. But does that change what you need to do to avoid catching COVID-19?

Coronavirus
Ghost Kitchens Are Saving Restaurants During the Pandemic
ghost kitchens
Coronavirus
Ghost Kitchens Are Saving Restaurants During the Pandemic
Ghost kitchens are thriving during the pandemic, as more restaurants rely on online delivery orders for their income.

Ghost kitchens are thriving during the pandemic, as more restaurants rely on online delivery orders for their income.

Coronavirus
Dogs That Can Smell Coronavirus Screen Travelers at Airport
Dogs That Can Smell Coronavirus
Coronavirus
Dogs That Can Smell Coronavirus Screen Travelers at Airport
Detection dogs that can smell coronavirus in a person’s sweat are now screening travelers for COVID-19 at Helsinki Airport.

Detection dogs that can smell coronavirus in a person’s sweat are now screening travelers for COVID-19 at Helsinki Airport.

Coronavirus
Simple Tips for Choosing a Face Mask That Works
Choosing a Face Mask
Coronavirus
Simple Tips for Choosing a Face Mask That Works
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, face coverings are now mandatory in many states. Here’s what you need to know about choosing a face mask.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, face coverings are now mandatory in many states. Here’s what you need to know about choosing a face mask.

Public Health
Why Is an Antigen Test a Big Deal for COVID-19?
Antigen Test
Public Health
Why Is an Antigen Test a Big Deal for COVID-19?
The FDA has issued its first emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 antigen test, a new type of test for diagnosing the coronavirus.

The FDA has issued its first emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 antigen test, a new type of test for diagnosing the coronavirus.

Public Health
Tons of Groups Are Improvising Coronavirus PPE. But Who Will Test It?
Coronavirus PPE
Public Health
Tons of Groups Are Improvising Coronavirus PPE. But Who Will Test It?
A newly formed group is gathering designs for coronavirus PPE and coordinating with testers to make sure the makeshift supplies are safe for use.

A newly formed group is gathering designs for coronavirus PPE and coordinating with testers to make sure the makeshift supplies are safe for use.

Public Health
Major League Baseball Joins Massive Coronavirus Antibody Study
Coronavirus Antibody Study
Public Health
Major League Baseball Joins Massive Coronavirus Antibody Study
More than 10,000 Major League Baseball players and employees agreed to have their blood tested for a massive coronavirus antibody study.

More than 10,000 Major League Baseball players and employees agreed to have their blood tested for a massive coronavirus antibody study.

Public Health
Bill Gates Is Spending Billions to Produce 7 Coronavirus Vaccines
coronavirus vaccines
Public Health
Bill Gates Is Spending Billions to Produce 7 Coronavirus Vaccines
The Gates Foundation is building factories to manufacture seven promising coronavirus vaccines to prepare for mass production if any prove effective.

The Gates Foundation is building factories to manufacture seven promising coronavirus vaccines to prepare for mass production if any prove effective.