WHAT: Serving Seniors, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives, will be offering FREE Hepatitis A vaccines to San Diego seniors who are at risk or have concern about contracting the disease. This event has been set up from the overwhelming demand from seniors to obtain the vaccination following the organization’s first free vaccination event that took place two weeks ago.
The organization will be offering the first of a two-part Hepatitis A vaccination to 150 seniors on a first come, first serve basis. In spring 2018, there will be another event to offer the second part of the vaccination at no cost. Protection starts one to two weeks after the first dose of vaccine and lasts for 20 years to life after two doses.
Unlike other age demographics, seniors should take the recent San Diego Hepatitis A vaccine 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 by providing ongoing education, improving internal protocols, offering vaccinations and installing additional sanitization stations. Likewise, all seniors prior to being served any meals will be required to sanitize.
WHERE: Serving Seniors’ Potiker Family Senior Residences – Community Room
525 14th Street, San Diego (92101)
(East Village – 14th and Market Streets)
Parking on street
EXPECTED ATTENDANCE: 150 seniors
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 28 – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
**Best time to cover is between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.**
WHY: San Diego County’s Hepatitis A outbreak was declared a local public health emergency on Sept. 1 and shows no signs of slowing. According to the latest update released on Sept. 23 by the County Health and Human Services Agency, the outbreak update pushed the death total to 17 with 461 cases and 315 hospitalizations over the course of the outbreak. That’s one more death, 17 more cases and 10 more hospitalizations than a week ago. More than 42,000 hepatitis vaccinations have been given as of Sept. 23 by health care providers and county programs, including foot teams. That’s up from nearly 23,000 about a week ago.
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 the outbreak 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 safe and the protocols set in place to combat the 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 22 years by president and CEO Paul Downey. Downey is the current chair and two-time appointed commissioner of the California Commission on Aging, board member for the American Society on Aging (ASA), and is also past president of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP). Serving Seniors has been named a Top Workplace for the last four years by the San Diego Union-Tribune. For more information, please visit www.servingseniors.org, Facebook or Twitter, or call (619) 487-0701.