Vaccinating New York’s Most Vulnerable Citizens: New Data on Ro’s Vaccine Drive

Written by Ro 

Written by Ro 

last updated: Sep 26, 2022

2 min read

From a 107-year old patient to those living just above the poverty line, a new report looks back at who Ro’s in-home vaccination program supported and provides a playbook for future private-public partnerships dedicated to helping solve our most critical health challenges

During the Spring of 2021, Ro worked directly with the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) to vaccinate some of the region’s most vulnerable patients (65+ and homebound) in their homes — free of charge. Administering thousands of vaccines over the course of several weeks, this unique program leveraged Ro’s synchronous and asynchronous telehealth services, our pharmacy distribution network, our in-home care platform, and our team of pharmacists, doctors, nurses, engineers, designers, and operators working relentlessly to serve patients.

New data released

A recent study published in Frontiers in Public Health unveiled the powerful impact this novel public-private partnership program had on vulnerable populations in New York. Ro provided this data in partnership with the NYS DOH to serve as a playbook for future partnerships aimed at solving our most critical health challenges.

For the first time, data released in this report provides a profile of the patients supported by this first-of-its-kind program:

The majority of patients:

  • Identified as a racial or ethnic minority (66%)

  • Identified as female (63%)

  • Had received a high school degree or less (68%)

  • Were living in households hovering around the poverty line — more than half (58%) reported an annual income of less than $25K per year

  • Had comorbidities that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease (72%) — the most commonly reported conditions were high blood pressure (57%), heart conditions (23%), and diabetes (21%)

  • The median age was 79 — the oldest vaccine recipient was 107 years old!

Why did they seek in-home vaccinations?

  • Close to half of patients were homebound due to disability, whether due to mobility or cognitive challenges (45%),

  • Almost 1/3 of patients wanted to avoid public areas due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 (27%),

  • And many patients cited general accessibility issues (35%).

More about Ro’s Vaccine Drive

When vaccines started to become available in the spring of 2021, the CDC urgently recommended full vaccination for U.S. adults 65 years and older to reduce hospitalization in the elderly population. However, this population was faced with vaccination barriers, such as inaccessible vaccine sites due to mobility and other age-related challenges. By partnering with the New York State Department of Health, Ro was able to remove barriers to vaccination by meeting vulnerable patients where they were and sending healthcare providers directly to people’s homes.

After the patient or family member signed up for an appointment on Ro’s platform, trained and licensed nurses and pharmacists were dispatched to the patient’s home. Healthcare providers vaccinated patients and checked off all steps in the Ro Provider Mobile app to ensure compliance was met with a standardized clinician-designed protocol. Patients also received educational materials, scheduled their second dose, and were provided with a phone number to Ro’s nurse hotline for ongoing support.

vaccination for homebound seniors

Source: Reuters

Ro is incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to use our platform to break down barriers to vaccination for homebound seniors. When thousands of Americans were dying each day from COVID-19 — this public-private partnership with the NYS DOH enabled us to truly save lives and fight for patients who were the most vulnerable among us.

For more information, visit our blog.