Flu shot clinics at two SHA developments
Luis Monserrate got his annual flu shot right next to his home at Springfield Housing Authority’s Riverview Apartments. So did Iris Delgado at Sullivan Apartments.
They were among a total 84 SHA residents, staff members and the general public who received flu shots recently at the two developments, courtesy of Springfield Pharmacy. The clinics were co-sponsored by the North End C-3 Community Police Unit.
SHA Executive Director Denise R. Jordan said the flu shot initiative was an unqualified success, hopefully one that will be repeated.
“Flu shots are more important this year than ever,” Jordan said. “And with Springfield Pharmacy, we were able to bring this program directly to our residents and staff. It was a convenience for so many, having this available right where they live and work.”
Springfield Pharmacy staffers set up at both locations, each for one full day, dispensing flu shots as well as advice for all who visited.
Pharmacy owner Tobias Billups stress that with the COVID-19 global pandemic still active, getting a flu shot is critical to helping keep everyone healthy.
“We want to help with access to health services in the inner city, especially during these times we are facing now, with COVID-19 out there and many people, especially the elderly, unable to get out easily,” Billups said. “We do what we can to bring services directly to the community.”
Overseeing the effort was SHA Director of Public Safety Michelle Ricker, who ensured compliance with safety standards and welcomed residents and staff, and the Resident Services Department, which notified all residents of the opportunity to get flu shots.
“We consider this an important public service,” Ricker said. “We got a lot of people – residents, staff and the public – coming for their flu shots at both locations.”
Residents agreed wholeheartedly.
At Riverview, a steady stream of people, many of them elderly, visited the Community Center on Division Street, insurance information in hand and arms ready for the shot that will protect them from seasonal flu through the winter.
Monserrate said he gets a flu shot every year, and was happy this year to have the service so close to home.
“You need a flu shot so you don’t get sick during the winter,” he said. “This is great. I walk out my door and I’m here.”
At Sullivan, the situation was similar. Residents, staff, and the public were welcome in to the Community Center, where Springfield Pharmacy staffers were waiting to administer the shots.
On hand to greet visitors, many by name, was SHA Community Outreach Coordinator Zenaida Burgos, who called the clinic “a blessing.
“We’re so happy to have this available to our residents and anyone who wants a flu shot. Hopefully, we can do this every year,” Burgos said.
Children who got flu shots at Sullivan were also treated to a few books for their personal libraries, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Book Rich Environments Initiative.
Iris Delgado, who has lived at Sullivan the past 22 years, pulled up her sleeve for the shot she takes every year.
“I need this every year because I don’t want to get the flu,” she said. “This keeps me safe. I love coming right over here, it was so easy this year.”
Axel Lopez, 19, also walked over from his apartment at Sullivan for his shot.
“I get a flu shot every year, but this year I felt it was even more important during the pandemic we’re living through. I feel it’s important to protect myself from illness,” Lopez said.
Pharmacist Sam Alves underscored all the points staff and residents made during the clinics.
“Flu shots are more important than ever this year,” Alves said. “A lot of people don’t drive, especially elderly people, and what’s better than having flu shots available right where you live?”
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