LA County Sheriff's Department program provides in-home COVID vaccinations for those with disabilities

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The process of getting a COVID-19 vaccination can be very difficult for those with disabilities and their families. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is trying to change that through an in-home vaccination program.

"Unless you live with this, you don't understand how tough it can be to have some of these real basic things happen for people like that," said Marianne Lynch, whose son Chris has special needs.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department made a home visit to the Lynch family's home.

Chief Jack Ewell administered a COVID vaccine to Chris, but not before making sure Chris was comfortable.

"It's just scary for them, and because of their physical limitations, they can't stand in line, you need to talk to them, they can't just walk into a clinic, sit down quietly and stay in line. They're just not able to do that - through no fault of their own," Ewell said.

Monday, Chief Ewell did much of the same thing he did at the home visit but at the Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church in South L.A.

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In the same outreach program, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department helped administer the vaccine at this clinic, which seeks to help underserved communities as well as people with disabilities.

The sheriff's paramedics were expected to administer one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccinations to 300 adults, including a young man we met by the name of Emanuel, who said he was happy to receive his vaccine shot.

Those at the clinic cheered Emanuel on by staging a short countdown before he received the shot. When it was over, everyone gave him a round of applause.

"The last year was really difficult to deal with my son. So this is going to open up a lot of things for our family, so I'm so happy about that," said Mulugeta Tadele, Emanuel's father.

The clinic at the Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church was only held Monday, but the sheriff's department will continue its in-home visits as long as they receive enough vaccinations to continue their outreach program.

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