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Urge Lawmakers to Prioritize Vaccine for Senior Housing

Elderly New Yorkers living in senior housing are at high risk for COVID-19 and have not been appropriately prioritized by the State of New York or the Federal Government for COVID-19 vaccination. These seniors are often in their 80s, and many need assistance from outside caregivers with activities of daily living. An estimated 38% of all residents currently living in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program could be considered “frail” or “near-frail" putting them at risk of severe implications from coronavirus.

Additionally, just as staff in other congregate living settings with vulnerable populations have been prioritized for vaccination, staff in independent senior housing should be prioritized. Failing to prioritize senior housing residents and staff for vaccination is likely to mean significant delays in these seniors accessing the vaccine and, sadly, more hospitalizations and deaths.

With the importance of these individuals being vaccinated in mind, senior housing providers should have the opportunity to work with the Department of Health and Regional Vaccination Networks to begin planning vaccination clinics that can occur on site. Facilitating vaccination clinics on the campuses of senior housing settings in which a large number of seniors live would allow the state to efficiently vaccinate large numbers of people in priority populations in one clinic.

Enter your information below to urge State and Federal lawmakers to appropriately prioritize seniors living in independent senior housing settings for COVID-19 vaccine!

Additionally, to send the same letter to the Department of Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker, please copy and paste this email and send to howard.zucker@health.ny.gov