Supply issues delay rollout of Long Island town's mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit

Hempstead Vax Mobile
Town of Hempstead has partnered with Mount Sinai South Nassau to roll out a mobile vaccination unit. Photo credit Town of Hempstead

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Town of Hempstead had hoped to have a mobile vaccination unit on the road by now, but it's still waiting for doses.

The town announced in January that it had partnered with Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital to launch the so-called Vax Mobile.

The plan is to take the unit out to senior centers, parks and possibly shopping centers so that homebound seniors, many who are disabled and do not have computers, can easily get to the location to receive the vaccine.

Hospital spokesperson Joe Calderone said the unit will be up and running within the next two weeks.

"We're hoping to do about 100 a day using the Vax Mobile," Calderone said. "The idea is very simple, we're bringing the vaccine to the hard hit areas of the Town of Hempstead and bringing it right to communities so that we can make it as easy as possible for residents to get vaccinated."

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said the delay is due to vaccine availability.

"We wish there were more vaccinations available to get to people and that's the supply problem," Clavin said.

The Vax Mobile is expected to distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"The Johnson & Johnson, it is a one shot, it's also a different level for refrigeration, and that's why that's the shot that is going to work great with this unit," said Clavin. "We're excited with the Johnson & Johnson one-shot, but it's getting it from the federal government to the state, the state getting it down to these local hospitals. We're urging the state and the feds to work together to get more vaccinations out there."

Clavin said the unit is handicap accessible and has a wheelchair left.

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