2012-12-14 / Community

Free Flu Shots

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio joined the New York State Nurses Association in urging the City to dramatically expand free flu shot distribution in areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. While vaccines are currently being distributed through mobile healthcare units and pharmacies, de Blasio urged much wider outreach by setting up flu shot stations in building lobbies, going door-to-door to reach seniors, targeting houses of worship and community centers, and improving communication with residents about available aid.

“Flu season is here and there are still thousands of New Yorkers without power or heat who are now more vulnerable than ever to the flu virus,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “Vaccines save lives. There are more than a thousand flu-related deaths in the city each year, most of whom are seniors. I urge the City to go that extra mile in all the Sandy-affected areas to ensure that the elderly, disabled, and those most susceptible receive their flu shot. ”

“Hundreds of nurses have volunteered in the Rockaways, Coney Island, and Staten Island -- but we need city and state officials to do more," said Patricia DiLillo, RN, the president of the New York State Nurses Association. “Nurses are ready, willing, and able to help to administer these shots and prevent deadly outbreaks. Now is the time to build back better New York's healthcare system.”

“There are still thousands here in the Far Rockaways without power or heat and need all the help they can to remain healthy in these circumstances,” said Council Member James Sanders. “The City has to do due diligence and ensure that the every single person in the devastated areas knows that there are health resources available.”

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