COVID Long Island: Mobile vaccination van offers coronavirus booster, flu shots to residents

Chanteé Lans Image
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Mobile vaccination van offers COVID booster, flu shots on Long Island
The Elmont Senior Center in Nassau County is offering people both the COVID booster shot and a flu shot with its mobile vaccination van. Chantee Lans has more.

OCEANSIDE, Long Island (WABC) -- A mobile vaccination van on Long Island is now offering people both the COVID booster shot and a flu shot.

Rolling up your sleeve to get a double dab was the goal at the Elmont Senior Center.

"I got my COVID in this arm in my left arm and the flu in my right arm," Deirdre Evans-Williams said.

The vaxmobile, which rolled out 18 months ago during the height of the pandemic, was launched to offer free COVID vaccines to underserved areas on Long Island.

"The vaxmobile behind me has given out more than 13,000 COVID vaccinations to individuals that would otherwise probably have difficulties and challenges getting to a pharmacy, getting to another local establishment that can give the vaccine," Mount Sinai South Nassau President Dr. Adhi Sharma said.

The vaxmobile, which is funded by the Federal Cares Act from the town of Hempstead and run by Mount Sinai South Nassau, is now expanding to include the flu shot.

"It's important. You shouldn't be afraid of a flu shot," Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said.

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In the coming weeks, the mobile medical unit will visit senior centers in Franklin Square, Valley Stream, Levitown, Merrick, Uniondale and Bellmore.

"I'm not looking to get sick and because my husband being immunocompromised, I don't need him to be sick because I'm sick," Evans-Williams said.

Evans-Williams and her husband Selwyn just took theirs.

"Recently, I had a heart transplant, after having a transplant and I didn't have an immune system at all," Selwyn Williams said. "And had I not got the vaccines, I could get sick from anything, anybody, and I'd be dead."

The flu shots offered are the quadra-valent shots, which is the most common, as well as the high dose for senior citizens that are at higher risk for flu complications.

According to Mount Sinai South Nassau, there are nearly 30,000 to 50,000 deaths by the flu every year.

"I encourage everyone to come out, roll up your sleeve, get your vaccine and protect yourself, your family and your neighbors," Sharma said.

The president of Mount Sinai South Nassau says the goal is to avoid ending at the emergency room.

For a full list of dates and locations for the vax mobile, you can head to the town of Hempstead's website.

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