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Honorable Thomas A. Farley, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28TH Street
Long Island City, NY, 11101
Dear Commissioner Farley:
Thousands of New Yorkers have lost access to doctors and pharmacies since Hurricane Sandy hit
the city. In addition to disrupting medical appointments and leaving many without vital
prescription medication, the storm has also prevented thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers--
especially seniors for whom the flu can be life-threatening--from receiving their annual
To compensate for the ongoing closure of many pharmacies and medical offices, I urge the
Department of Health to expand the availability of free flu vaccinations in regions affected by
the storm. Distribution sites should be located close to the target population in building lobbies,
at mobile health care centers, at community centers and at hospitals and clinics throughout the
areas affected by Sandy.
This effort will require cooperation between the private, non-profit and public sector, but the
initiative here rests with local government. My office is eager to partner with you and the
Administration in any way necessary to facilitate this program.
I applaud the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for its outreach to storm victims in
recent days, and look forward to working with you to expand upon those efforts. Thank you for
your attention to this matter.
Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate for the City of New York