Philadelphia, PA – Residents of the John C. Anderson LGBT-friendly Senior Apartments received their first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine last week, with second doses scheduled for next month. A team of four from Mazzoni Center held a vaccine clinic in the community room of the JCAA building. Mazzoni Center staff worked together to sign people in, administer the shots, and observe recipients for fifteen minutes afterwards. Ed Miller, who provides supportive services at JCAA as part of his role at William Way Community Center, handled the scheduling and was on site to help organize the 56 people who received the vaccine.

            “It was wonderful to help our elders during a time that has been so very difficult for everyone,” Mazzoni Center Executive Medical Officer Dr. Nancy Brisbon said. “We look forward to our next day for dose two. The vaccine is part of our path out of the pandemic. We all need to do everything we can to prevent this serious and too often deadly disease.” According to a recent report from the CDC, LGBTQ people have a higher prevalence of illnesses that lead to severe Covid-19 outcomes, including asthma, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease and obesity. As many of those same illnesses are also prevalent in older adults, LGBTQ seniors are particularly at risk.

            The day came together after Miller learned that most JCAA residents, all of whom are low-income and elderly, had not been able to get the vaccine. He then reached out to the Mazzoni Center for assistance. Dr. Brisbon, who serves as part of Mazzoni’s interim leadership team, promptly said yes, and the team worked on setting a date, securing vaccine doses from the city, and handling the logistics of using an off-site location. Brisbon said that having experience from administering the vaccine to Mazzoni staff and patients helped the day go smoothly. Miller echoed those sentiments. “It was a privilege working with the Mazzoni Center,” Miller told PGN. “Everyone was so impressive and offered terrific guidance and every kindness.” For his part, Miller understood the importance of allaying residents’ concerns, especially amid all the confusion about vaccine eligibility and availability. (Philadelphia Gay News – Jason Villemez at https://epgn.com/2021/02/10/lgbtq-seniors-at-jcaa-get-covid-19-vaccinations/)

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