Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Starting this week, the City will launch on-site senior vaccination clinics and, with the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March, stand up a vaccination drive for homebound seniors.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday announced a three-pronged plan to vaccinate homebound seniors and the essential frontline home care workers who care for them. Starting this week, the City will launch on-site senior vaccination clinics and, with the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March, stand up a vaccination drive for homebound seniors. To minimize risk for homebound seniors throughout the month of February, the City will aim to vaccinate 25,000 home health aides over the next month, offering dedicated appointments in the areas where they live and work.
“We are moving heaven and earth to get our senior neighbors vaccinated”, said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, we are bringing vaccines to seniors right in their communities, ensuring our vaccines go to those who need them most.”
“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked to safeguard and protect our homebound older adults, one of the most vulnerable populations to COVID-19. This plan safeguards their health in a comprehensive manner – vaccinating them close to home and vaccinating homecare workers, who throughout the pandemic have continued visiting and caring for older adults in their home. We are grateful to all homecare workers , who are among New York’s heroes and grateful to our City agency partners and community-based partners who are working together to protect our homebound older adults,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.
To meet seniors where they are, the City will set up vaccine clinics at DFTA retirement communities and HPD Senior Buildings. Two on-site vaccination clinics will launch the week of February 15th, with additional locations to be identified and prioritized in the coming weeks:
Warbasse Cares Program (2844 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn)
Morningside Retirement & Health Services (100 LaSalle Street, Morningside Heights)
The City will also ramp up vaccination for homecare aides, home health aides, and personal care aides. These aides will receive priority appointments at City vaccine sites, as well as increased access to five City workforce hubs. The City will also launch new sites dedicated to serving this population.
Given the instability of the mRNA vaccine, the City will begin using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when it is available to provide in-home vaccination for homebound seniors. With the help of City agencies, such as FDNY, and our home health care partners, the City aims to provide in-home vaccinations for thousands of homebound seniors.
“Human services providers have worked tirelessly over this last year to ensure homebound seniors had the care and contact they needed to stay home and healthy. The Human Services Council applauds New York City’s plan to prepare for scaled up vaccine distribution for those who cannot leave their homes, work now to get vaccines to those who are homebound, and to take a realistic and holistic approach by including home care workers in vaccine eligibility. The workers who care for our populations are at great risk themselves, and those they serve need them to be safe and healthy. Prioritizing these workers, along with the many other human services workers out in the community every day, is an essential component in helping our homebound neighbors,” said Michelle Jackson, Executive Director, Human Services.