The 10th District legislators, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano, are calling on Governor Murphy to allow for COVID-19 vaccinations to be offered at senior communities. The legislators sent a letter to the Governor making that request out of concern for seniors who cannot easily travel to other vaccination sites due to driving restrictions or disabilities.
The 10th District legislators, Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin, and Asm. John Catalano, are calling on Gov. Murphy to allow for COVID-19 vaccinations to be offered at senior communities. (©iStock)
“Since the rollout of the vaccine, our office has been inundated with calls from residents of senior communities who have been waiting patiently to receive the vaccine but still do not have clarity on how or when it will happen,” said Senator Holzapfel. “Some elderly residents either do not drive or have a disability that prevents them from traveling easily to other vaccination sites. We could address those concerns and vaccinate as many seniors as possible by sending mobile units directly to each senior community.”
In the letter, the legislators point to the expansion of criteria for vaccinations which makes almost anyone with a chronic condition, including smokers, eligible to be vaccinated.
They noted that Ocean County has just six designated vaccination sites, while Essex County offers twelve. They said the lack of locations coupled with a competitive appointment scheduling process has prevented many of Ocean County’s senior citizens from receiving or even scheduling their vaccinations.
“If they somehow manage to get an appointment, our seniors then have to rely on family or friends to bring them to a crowded vaccination site, where they are at greater risk of being exposed to someone with the virus,” added Assemblyman McGuckin. “Vaccinating seniors within the relative safety of their communities is something that should be easy to accomplish with the help of the Governor’s Office.”
“The willingness of our seniors to get vaccinated isn’t the issue,” added Assemblyman Catalano. “In fact, both the 55 and older community board members and the residents themselves want to get vaccinated as soon as possible so they can begin to put this pandemic behind them. Let’s alleviate this burden for these seniors and make accessing the vaccine easier for the generation that has already suffered so much.”
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