WHAT: Serving Seniors, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives, will offer FREE Hepatitis A vaccine boosters to San Diego seniors who received the first part of the vaccination in Fall 2017. The booster is administered six months after the initial vaccination and extends the effectiveness of the vaccine for 25 years or more.
The booster vaccination will be given to an estimated 150 seniors on a first come, first serve basis. The organization will also offer the first of the two-part Hepatitis A vaccination to seniors who were not protected at the start of the outbreak. Protection starts one to two weeks after the first dose of the vaccine and may persist for 25 years or more after the booster vaccination has been administered. A limited amount of flu vaccinations will be given as well.
Unlike other age demographics, seniors should take the recent San Diego Hepatitis A outbreak very seriously as it is extremely transferable and potentially deadly to seniors and those with compromised immune systems. Serving Seniors is dedicated to protecting San Diego seniors from Hepatitis A through ongoing education, improving internal protocols, offering vaccinations and having many sanitization stations available throughout their facilities. It is now standard protocol for all seniors who use the organization’s facilities to sanitize their hands prior to being served any meals.
WHEN: Thursday, March 15 – 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
**Best time to cover is between 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.**
WHERE: Serving Seniors’ Wellness Center – Lifelong Learning Room
1525 4th Avenue, San Diego (92101)
(Downtown San Diego, corner of 4th Ave. and Beech Street)
Parking on street
EXPECTED ATTENDANCE: Estimated 150 seniors and Serving Seniors’ staff
WHY: San Diego County’s Hepatitis A outbreak was declared a local public health emergency on Sept. 1, 2017 and although the county ended the emergency on Jan. 23, 2018, individuals must take necessary precautions to protect themselves.
According to the latest update released on March 6, 2018 from the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency, there were 584 diagnosed cases, 400 hospitalizations and 20 deaths over the course of the recent outbreak.
People usually get Hepatitis A by having close contact with a person who is infected, from food or drinks prepared by someone who is infected, or by eating shellfish harvested from sewage-contaminated water. After the virus enters the body, there is an incubation period lasting 2 to 7 weeks until illness begins. The vaccines will be provided in collaboration with the County of San Diego.
MORE INFORMATION: www.servingseniors.org
INTERVIEWS & VISUALS:
- San Diego seniors receiving the Hepatitis A vaccines. Seniors can speak to their concerns about contracting Hepatitis A and additional steps they are taking to protect themselves.
- Paul Downey, president and CEO of Serving Seniors, can speak to the commitment of Serving Seniors to keep seniors, staff and volunteers safe, as well as the protocols set in place to combat the effects of Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County.
ABOUT SERVING SENIORS:
Serving Seniors is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded 47 years ago, the organization meets its mission by offering a coordinated wellness model addressing many senior issues under one roof. Through its collaborative partnerships, Serving Seniors is able to provide nutrition, case management, care coordination, mental health services, life-long learning, advocacy and transitional housing for homeless seniors and permanent supportive housing. This safety net of services encourages seniors to live healthier lives by addressing successful aging. As a result, it keeps seniors out of emergency rooms, reduces hospital days and delays and/or eliminates the need for long-term care.
Since its inception, Serving Seniors has served over 11 million meals. Every year, the organization provides nearly 600,000 meals to seniors at 9 congregate dining sites across the county, delivers two meals daily to more than 500 homebound seniors and houses nearly 500 seniors. About 5,000 San Diego seniors look to Serving Seniors annually for support.
The agency has been skillfully led for more than 23 years by president and CEO Paul Downey. Downey is the past chair and two-time appointed commissioner of the California Commission on Aging and past president of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP). He currently serves on the boards of the American Society on Aging (ASA), the San Diego County Social Services Advisory Board and the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center. Serving Seniors has been named a Top Workplace for the last five years by the San Diego Union-Tribune. For more information, please visit www.servingseniors.org, Facebook or Twitter, or call (619) 487-0701.
Arika Daniels, Scatena Daniels Communications
(949) 338-6672 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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