HYDE PARK, NY— With reports surfacing of newly admitted nursing home residents being denied vaccines as the federal distribution program comes to a close, Senator Sue Serino today is urging the State to take immediate action to ensure residents and staff have continued access to the vaccine.
“Given their unique vulnerability, our nursing homes residents have to be the state’s number one priority when it comes to vaccinations,” said Senator Serino. “To deny any nursing home resident, or staff person, access to a vaccine simply because the federal program has concluded is absolutely irresponsible. While the Governor said in a press conference today that these residents will eventually be able to access vaccines through the local health departments, my office is already receiving calls from residents who are being told they cannot access them. Clearly, there is a communication breakdown somewhere, and the state has a duty to correct it immediately if that is in fact the case. Not a single day should go by where these residents or dedicated staff do not have immediate access to these vaccines.”
Senator Serino has been outspoken in urging the state to improve its vaccination distribution process and has argued that despite the overall lack of supply that all states are grappling with, there are commonsense steps the state can take to immediately improve the rollout, especially as it relates to the senior population. Serino sent a letter to the Governor and the Health Commissioner in January offering a number of solutions, most importantly the creation of a centralized appointment system. A copy of that letter can be found here.
Senator Serino is the Ranking Member of the NYS Senate's Aging Committee.