GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As vaccine eligibility expands, there is a new push to bring mobile COVID-19 vaccination vans and ambulances stocked with supply into neighborhoods and homes.
“Unfortunately, there is a lot of reluctance in the community to be vaccinated. When you bring the shots here, that’s the only way out of the mess that we’re in,” Gary Slobin, the president of Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan on Tuesday.
Temple Beth-El opened its doors to those who live and work in the town.
“I’m reluctant with everything that happens with health care,” homeowner Jackie Shenkman said.
“My grandmother took it and she was fine. Yes, I’m getting it today,” Great Neck employee Linston Brown said.
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Karim Camara with the state’s COVID Equity Task Force said community health organizations are following the leads of Long Island hospitals like Northwell, which CBS2 followed last week, going door to door to accelerate efforts to help shut-ins.
“It’s very significant, particularly for homebound people,” Camara said.
“We have been working on a strategy using our police medics who operate the ambulances to do the homebound seniors. We wanted to wait until we had Johnson & Johnson,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
“Because it’s one dose in a location you want to do it strategically,” county Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein added. “The vial still has five doses in it and a six-hour window to use it. So, you want to hit five homes that are relatively close together.”
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Homebound eligibility is not solely for seniors. Many with intellectual and physical disabilities unable to leave their houses, and those confined to group homes, will also qualify, McLogan reported.
The homebound say it can’t come soon enough.
“I would like to go out if I could,” one woman said.
“I just want to get it for the rest of my family,” another added.
Nassau’s new program is expected to get underway next week.