Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Queens) has partnered with the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene to provide free flu shots for Queens residents who lack health insurance. Assemblyman Miller is distributing vouchers out of his Woodhaven District Office that are redeemable for vaccinations at Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies.
The voucher program is designed to reduce vaccination disparities among Black and Hispanic Queens residents. Recent data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that only 46% of black New Yorkers 65 years or older reported being vaccinated in 2006-2008, compared to 60% of whites and 65% of Asians in the same age group.“ These vaccination rates are unacceptably low,” Assemblyman Miller said. “Everyone needs to get vaccinated against the flu to prevent unnecessary illness and death.”
“Participating in this program is very important to me,” Miller said. “By offering these vouchers for free vaccinations, not only are we keeping the Queens community healthy, but we are also encouraging those without health insurance to seek medical attention for an illness that can be very serious. We are giving the uninsured a chance at well-being.”
According to the Department of Health, influenza and pneumonia are the third leading causes of death in New York City, together killing 2,192 residents in 2008. Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older – especially those who are young, those who are elderly, those with certain chronic health conditions, a weakened immune system, any disorder that can cause breathing problems, and women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Anyone seeking a voucher from the Assemblyman must be aged 18 years or older and must be able to prove they lack health insurance. For more information regarding the free flu shot vouchers please call Assemblyman Miller’s office at 718-805-0950 or visit at 83-91 Woodhaven Boulevard, Woodhaven, NY 11421. Requests will be handled on a first come, first serve basis.