‘Vaxmobile’ visits the Elmont Senior Center | Herald Community Newspapers
More than a dozen residents of the Elmont Seniors’ Center have received coronavirus vaccines from the ‘Vaxmobile’, a mobile vaccination van launched by the town of Hempstead earlier this year with a clinical unit at the Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside.
The Vaxmobile, which stops in communities in the town of Hempstead five days a week, visited the Elmont Seniors Center on several occasions, but that visit was part of a new focus.
“Our goal is to focus on booster injections and specifically for our elderly population,” said Amber Vitale, family nurse practitioner and director of Covid-19 community services at MSSN, referring to a third Covid-19 vaccination that has been approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration for Americans over 65.
Vitale pointed out that vaccinating older people in Nassau County is difficult due to transportation barriers and mobility issues that prevent older people from receiving vaccines.
“Being able to make vaccines so accessible for people is a huge thing that we are doing,” said Vitale, adding that the Vaxmobile has helped the hospital reach and immunize the elderly. “We have succeeded in breaking down these barriers,” she noted.
“We are here in your backyard, so there is no reason why you should not receive your reminder,” said Vitale, describing the hospital post, urging the elderly to receive a reminder.
The hospital now offers influenza vaccines in addition to Covid-19 vaccines, as well as first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
On October 16, hospital workers administered 16 Covid-19 vaccines and six flu shots. In total, the Vaxmobile has vaccinated 7,800 people against the coronavirus and 126 people against the flu this year.
Damian Becker, public relations manager for MSSN, stressed that at this stage of the pandemic, the goal of the Vaxmobile campaign is to vaccinate as many people per day as possible.
“As long as we’re here to make the vaccine available, every day is a good day,” Becker said. “Whether 50, 10, 30 people come to the Vaxmobile to receive their first dose, second dose, booster injection, it’s a successful day.
Vitale stressed that reaching out to members of local communities is essential to increase the vaccination rate on Long Island.
“I think it’s important to let community members know that we care about our patients outside the four walls of our hospital,” said Vitale, adding that she was involved in community outreach of the hospital since the start of the pandemic.
“If we’re going to get over that and get back to normal, back to the situation it was before the pandemic started, that’s definitely part of the solution and a very important part of the solution,” Becker said. “The more people who choose to be vaccinated, the better it is for them, their families, their friends, their neighbors and for them to start doing the things they love again. “