Morris County & Atlantic Health Providing Flu Shots to Homebound
Limited Supplies Available to Seniors and Adults with Disabilities
Morris County’s Office on Aging, Disabilities, and Community Programming has partnered with Atlantic Health System to provide and administer flu shots to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities at no cost to the recipients.
Supplies are limited, and to qualify for a shot recipients must be Morris County residents, homebound, 60 years of age or older, or a homebound individual with a disability who is between the ages of 18 and 59. Flu shots are important to populations such as seniors and people with disabilities, who are more vulnerable to the flu, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Providing at home services, such as this, is especially important for our seniors during these times, as it minimizes potential exposures for the most vulnerable population. The CDC recommends a yearly flu shot, and it is even more important this year as it may decrease the risk of co-infection to this high risk population,” said Christine Hellyer, Director of the Morris County Office on Aging, Disabilities, and Community Programming.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also contends flu shots are this year are critical.
“Routine vaccination prevents illnesses that lead to unnecessary medical visits, hospitalizations and further strain the healthcare system. For the 2020-2021 influenza season, influenza vaccination will be paramount to reduce the impact of respiratory illnesses attributed to influenza in the population and resulting burdens on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CDC warns on its website.
The flu shots are part of an ongoing effort in Morris County to connect seniors and adults with disabilities to community resources during the pandemic.
“We began to receive calls from seniors requesting options for flu shots administered in the home. When we reached out to public health nurses and community providers, we found few resources for this requested service. The Office on Aging then sought out to partner with an organization to provide this service to seniors who are homebound or were concerned with going to a clinic or their doctor’s office during the pandemic,” Hellyer explained.
Providing at home services is especially important for seniors during the pandemic because it minimizes the potential their exposure to the virus. Offering the option to have the flu shot administered by a trusted partner such as Atlantic Health also allows for a sense of relief for those who are unable to get to a provider.
To request an appointment for a flu shot, call Solangel Patarroyo at 973-971-7259 or reach out through email at: Solangel.Patarroyo@atlantichealth.org.