Vaccination Program Begins For Brno’s Homeless Population

Last week, the Podané ruce organization began vaccinating homeless people in Brno against Covid-19. More than 80 doses of the Moderna vaccine have already been successfully administered by the organization’s mobile team. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used for further vaccinations. Photo Credit: KK / BD.

Brno, Jul 21 (BD) – Thanks to cooperation with Podané ruce (“Helping Hands”), the City of Brno has begun vaccinating its homeless population. 81 doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered last week, with the second doses to follow at the recommended interval. For further vaccinations, however, Podané ruce will use the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Homeless people are a group of the population that has not yet had the opportunity to get vaccinated,” said the Mayor of Brno, Markéta Vaňková. “This is often because they do not stay in one place and do not cooperate with any of the stationary institutions that offer the city’s social services. However, Brno has a network of social workers and facilities for contributory and non-profit organizations for people in social crises. All these services focus on working with people in the field. The staff was able to obtain information about their interest in vaccination and explain its benefits to their clients.”

The aim of the program is to increase vaccination coverage among all groups of the population and thus prevent the spread of the disease in the homeless community. As a motivation, social workers offered clients a meal voucher worth 75 crowns, and for the second dose, they will receive a 50-crown meal voucher. In the case of a single-dose vaccine, those getting vaccinated will receive an 80-crown meal voucher.

“Podané ruce, which is carrying out vaccinations with the mobile team, is left with vaccines with a short expiration date,” explained Robert Kerndl, Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs. “They offered them to us for use, and thanks to the quick reaction of social workers, we managed to prepare the first vaccination event, which took place in the vaccination center in Bohema [at the Janáček Theatre] and met with a positive response.” 

From Wednesday, the mobile team will vaccinate those interested in the offices of the social work department at Křenová 20, with a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Kerndl added that the cooperation with Podané ruce was very smooth due to the extensive experience of the organization’s staff in working with people in crisis. 

Individual shelters, dormitories, and day centers, which fall under Brno’s social services, have been preparing their clients for vaccination for a long time, including with a leaflet campaign. Social workers assisting homeless people in the field have paid increased attention to vaccination education. It is expected that a total of about 150 people will be vaccinated as part of the program.

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