Bronx Health REACH/The Institute for Family Health Launches its 2021-2022 Bronx Flu Fighters Campaign with a Flu Vaccine Clinic at Mount Hope Family Practice
Bronx Health REACH and Institute for Family Health Mt. Hope staff at the launch of Influenza Vaccination Month in the Bronx.
On Monday, December 6 Bronx Health REACH/The Institute for Family Health launched its second annual Bronx Flu Fighters campaign to increase flu vaccination rates in the Bronx at the Mount Hope Family Practice,. This month-long effort is an extension of the one week-National Flu Vaccination Week from December 5-11. Bronx Health REACH/The Institute for Family Health is dedicating the entire month of December to promoting flu vaccinations in the Bronx.
Bronx residents can get their flu vaccine at these three health centers this month.
Tuesdays from to 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Stevenson Family Health Center, 731 White Plains Road, Bronx, NY 10473
Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Mount Hope Family Practice, 130 West Tremont Avenue, Bronx, NY 10453
Fridays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Walton Family Health Center and Center for Counseling, 1894 Walton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10453
A challenging flu season could be ahead! Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported lower than expected flu vaccination rates, and twice as many flu cases in New York State than before the pandemic. Flu vaccination is essential to prevent severe illness and unnecessary hospitalizations. While mask-wearing, social distancing and frequent handwashing are important practices during the flu season, flu vaccination is crucial to prevent contracting the flu virus.
There is concern that the decreased vaccination rates this year may come from a misunderstanding that COVID-19 vaccines will protect against the flu; that there is vaccine fatigue caused by ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts coupled with a decrease in routine health-seeking behaviors by many people.
Less than half of Black/African-American and Latinx population in the Bronx received the flu shot in 2020, possibly due to mistrust in our healthcare system or difficulty in accessing care. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have convinced some of the importance of vaccines in preventing infectious diseases, there is still a need for more education about the necessity of the flu vaccine. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, a severe flu season could be devastating to Bronx residents, many of whom have underlying health conditions. If more people get the flu shot, the community will be safer and healthier.
“This is a critically important effort to protect the health of the community,” said Dr. Neil Calman, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health. “Many people don’t realize how dangerous the flu can be, especially for the elderly and for people who suffer from chronic illnesses such as asthma, which is so prevalent in the Bronx.”
“Through focus groups, surveys and our Vaccine Community Board, we’ve heard countless times how the mistrust in our healthcare system is deeply felt,” said Charmaine Ruddock, Project Director of Bronx Health REACH. “The Bronx Flu Fighters campaign aims to help rebuild community trust by providing easier access to free flu vaccinations and a local health outreach staff and educational resources to answer every question and concern about flu vaccines. Most importantly, we build trust in flu vaccines through training community leaders to share and spread the science-based facts.”
“Now more than ever, the lifesaving role of vaccines for prevention of hospitalization, respiratory and other infections in adults and children is so critically important, for individuals, entire families and communities,” said Dr. Eugene Schiff, MD, MPH, AAHIVS, AAFP, Clinical Director of Adult and Childhood Vaccines/IFH and Attending Family Medicine Physician of Stevenson Family Health Center/IFH. “Through critical partnerships in high need communities with Bronx Health REACH and by opening up our health centers to neighborhoods and community members for immunizations and comprehensive primary care, barriers to lifesaving immunizations can and must be overcome. More than 15,000 people have received influenza vaccines this year across our organization and we hope these initiatives will ensure that many more Bronx residents will be able to protect themselves and their families and communities against the flu this winter.”
“All New Yorkers ages six months and older should get the flu shot, to protect themselves and their community,” said Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “The influenza virus can cause painful and potentially life-threatening symptoms—even in healthy people. I am grateful to Bronx Health REACH and the institute for Family Health for promoting flu vaccination. I encourage everyone to get that flu shot today.”
“Too often barriers are placed that prohibits residents from accessing essential care, but the launch of the second annual Bronx Flu Fighters campaign is an important step in providing access to the flu shot for our most at risk and vulnerable populations, said Bronx Borough President-elect Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to thank Bronx Health REACH/The Institute for Family Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for their partnership and commitment to serving the residents of the Bronx.”
Vaccination clinics will be held at our three health centers through March 2022. For more information about Bronx Health REACH sponsored flu clinics, please contact Moria Byrne-Zaaloff at
Click here to learn where New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sponsored flu events will be held or call 311 or text “flu” to 877877.
The Bronx Health REACH/Institute for Family Health campaign to increase seasonal flu vaccination rates in the Bronx is made possible by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.