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COVID In New York City: Councilman Treyger Working On Plan To Get Homebound Seniors Their Vaccine Shots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With New York City facing a COVID-19 vaccine supply shortage, some of its most vulnerable seniors have been unable to get their shot.

City Councilman Mark Treyger is trying to change that.

On Tuesday, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas found out the lawmaker's plan to get the city to provide homebound seniors the help they need.

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Scott Girshek is like so many adult children who are beyond frustrated by the process. He has been trying to get his 76-year-old mother, Susan, a vaccine.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, it is up there with a 15. Right? You're told the vaccines are here, they exist and they're here specifically for my mom and we can't get it to her," Girshek said.

That's because Susan is homebound.


Currently, the city provides transportation for seniors and handicap accessibility at various vaccination sites.

But those who cannot leave home have no options.

"We can bring refrigerated vaccines to homebound seniors and folks who need services at home. We don't have to reinvent the wheel," Treyger said.

Treyger held a meeting Tuesday with senior advocates to address the problems. He said the city must appoint a vaccine czar to ensure equity and fairness in vaccine distribution, strengthen partnerships with senior providers that can help navigate the system, provide vaccines to caregivers, and establish senior sites or senior hours at different locations.


For now, Mayor Bill de Blasio and health care leaders are focused on vaccine supply shortages, although they acknowledge the need for a broader plan to help the most vulnerable.

"Someone able to give the vaccine safely has to go to their home. That's obviously much more complex, takes a lot of labor, but we're devoted to getting it done," de Blasio said.

Meanwhile, Girshek's mother is waiting.

"For almost going on a year she's basically been a slave in her own home," Girshek said.

She continues to protect herself as new strains of the virus pose and even bigger threat.

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