Homebound residents in Venice receive COVID-19 vaccine

Venice Fire-EMS crews started vaccinating homebound residents on Friday morning. 

"When you look at our demographics, the average age is over 68 and there is a significant amount of homebound people in our community," said Venice Fire Rescue Chief Shawn Carvey. 

Venice EMS received 180 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state. It's separate from Sarasota County's allotment of 1,500 doses and is a part of Governor Ron DeSantis' program to vaccinate people who are homebound. 

Venice Fire-EMS crews went to people's homes and assisted living facilities. At Tuscan Gardens some seniors had missed the chance to be vaccinated due to hospitalizations or other circumstances. 

"Having these large events is great for people who can make it to those large events who can get vaccinated, but we do have those people who aren’t able to make it out there. What we want to do is go there and make sure they get the opportunity as is everyone else who is eligible to get the shot. So they can go ahead and get vaccinated," said Venice EMS Division Chief Nathan McManus. 

The city is working with local leaders to identify those who are homebound. They're also calling people who are listed as homebound and need help during hurricane season or emergencies. 

COVID UPDATES: Download the free FOX 13 News app for ongoing coronavirus coverage and live updates

"When you have people who are homebound, maybe their immune systems are even more of a compromised situation, being able to get to those people is very important to help their quality of life," said Chief Carvey. 

Chief McManus said they are hearing a lot of relief from those they've vaccinated at home. 

"Everybody is very thankful that this service is being brought here to the area. A lot of them felt like they were kind of the forgotten portion of the people out there. To bring this to them to their homes, get them vaccinated and taken care of is hugely important," he said.  

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know

AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map