James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 firstname.lastname@example.org
May 10, 2021
Office of Mental Health Vaccination Program in partnership with the Office of Addiction Services and Supports Has Administered 70,000 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Clients and Staff
A significant milestone in the effort to remove barriers and vaccinate vulnerable New Yorkers
A vaccination program developed and managed by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) in partnership with the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), has administered more than 70,000 COVID-19 vaccines to clients and staff of the two agencies, as well as those from other health and human services agencies, including the Offices for People with Developmental Disabilities, Children and Family Services, and Temporary and Disability Assistance.
The “O-Agency Link-Outreach-Vaccinate” (O-LOV) program offers COVID-19 vaccines to all staff and clients served in New York State voluntary healthcare provider programs.
NYS OMH Commissioner Dr Ann Sullivan said, “The O-LOV program has allowed us to reach out to many vulnerable people as well as the healthcare workers who serve them every day. It provides a convenient way to schedule and receive the vaccine, regardless of the difficulties many of our clients are facing.”
OMH provided vaccination clinics at many of its facilities across the state. To accommodate more people and make the vaccine more accessible, OMH’s psychiatric centers have held more than 300 mobile clinics across the state, delivering more than 18,000 doses to clients and staff of the services agencies.
“Providing a convenient way to schedule and equitably distribute vaccines to marginalized communities and other vulnerable populations is essential in protecting the public against the COVID-19 virus,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “The O-LOV program has increased access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccines for New Yorkers, while also ensuring that frontline staff are protected.”
New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Commissioner Theodore A. Kastner, MS, MD said, “Through the O-LOV program many more people with developmental disabilities and the staff who support them were able to receive the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine much faster than they would have been able to otherwise. We thank our sister agencies, OMH and OASAS for helping us to ensure the safety of our vulnerable population and for taking action to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
“The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is grateful to have had access to these vaccination sites for our staff and youth in our care,” said OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “These local, accessible vaccination sites expedited distribution of vaccines to our essential workers on the front lines of care and have been an important step in our collective journey back to normalcy.”
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) Commissioner Mike Hein said, “While vaccines are widely available, some of New York’s most vulnerable people still face obstacles in getting vaccinated and the O-LOV program has played a critical role in overcoming those challenges. The program has provided protection from the virus for residents and staff of homeless shelters and congregate supportive housing while giving them hope for moving forward safely.”
The O-LOV program provides vaccination clinics throughout the State at OMH Psychiatric Centers and mobile events, including van-based services and outpatient provider sites. Many appointments remain open across the State for clients and staff. To schedule an appointment for yourself, a client, or a friend or family member, please visit the Individual Scheduling section of the O-LOV website.
OMH has also produced videos, posters, fact sheets and other materials to educate New Yorkers about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. The materials are available on the OMH website