NYC to Bring Vaccines to Homebound Seniors

NEW YORK -
Two people enter a New York City vaccine hub. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

For elderly and frail New York City residents who are unable to venture outside their homes to be vaccinated, the city will soon be sending nurses door-to-door to vaccinate them and their healthcare aides.

The new initiative was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday. The mayor acknowledged the vaccination drive would rely on the FDA approving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is easier to distribute as it only requires one dosage. The city’s vaccine push has often been limited by the lack of vaccines sent from the federal government, and the state’s rigid rules dictating who can receive the vaccine.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an easier vaccine. It does not require as much refrigeration and it’s one shot only. That’ll be a blessing – one shot only,” said de Blasio.

The city has also pushed reaching senior citizens who live in retirement communities by opening vaccination clinic programs in a public area in the buildings so seniors have to, at most, travel in the elevator. The first two clinics will be in the Warbasse Cares Program in Brooklyn and the Morningside Retirement and Health Services Program in Morningside Heights in Manhattan.

For seniors who are unable to leave their apartments, medical professionals will visit them and vaccinate them in the comfort of their homes.

The initiative will also prioritize healthcare aides who provide services and company to homebound seniors, and aims to vaccinate 25,000 healthcare aides within a month.

“It’s going to make a big impact on seniors who need help and family members who care for them and fear for them. This is going to bring a sigh of relief to so many families,” said de Blasio. “We look forward to leaving this pandemic in the rearview mirror, part of our past. And we will get there.”