Virtual care provider Ro will now be making house calls to distribute vaccines to older people and those with disabilities in New York. The company teamed up with New York State’s Department of Public Health to launch its efforts called COVID-19 Vaccine Drive.
Patients are able to schedule their appointment via the new Vaccine Drive website. The effort is currently focused on individuals 65 and older. The telehealth company is pitching this as a way for seniors to stay at home, and it’s free to all recipients.
As part of the program, Uber will be giving healthcare workers free rides to and from patients’ care sites.
This program rollout comes just months after Ro acquired in-home healthcare company Workpath, in order to supply on-demand in-home care services. The COVID-19 Vaccine Drive will be using Workpath to coordinate and dispatch healthcare professionals.
The vaccine recipients can call a hotline and get more info about the vaccine or side effects.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the CDC, 102 million vaccine doses have been distributed, and 78 million have been administered. This breaks down to roughly 15.6% of the population having received one dose or more, and 7.9% receiving the full two doses.
However, there is still a long way to go in vaccinating the country. The company is pitching this new program as a way to reach more vulnerable patients.
“In New York alone, there are more than three million seniors who may find it difficult or unsafe to leave their home and travel to a vaccination site or retail pharmacy to be vaccinated,” Saman Rahmanian, cofounder and chief product officer of Ro, said in a statement.
“We are proud to work with New York State’s Department of Health to offer Ro’s in-home care, telehealth, and pharmacy capabilities to administer vaccines to New Yorkers from the safety and convenience of their homes.”
THE LARGER TREND
Ro came onto the market as a men’s sexual wellness and health service, but quickly expanded into women’s care as well. It’s now been expanding into the smoking cessation, weight management, allergies and prescription dermatology areas.
Over the summer, Ro entered unicorn territory after it landed $200 million Series C funding, and a $1.5 billion valuation.