GHC proceeds with homeless vaccination; Passport to Services extended

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The event brought together social service providers from all over the island to support Guam's homeless population. (PNC photo)

The second Guam Homeless Coalition Passport to Services took place Friday at the Governor Joseph Flores Beach Park and it was combined with another COVID-19 vaccination outreach for Guam’s homeless.

Before the pandemic, the Passport to Services annual event usually takes place in one day. This time, it was extended to a second day.

The event brought together social service providers from all over the island to support Guam’s homeless population.

They decided to once again use this opportunity to provide basic services and resources to the homeless while they get their vaccinations.

Samantha Taitano, GHC chairperson and Manelu executive director, said:

“This time, the event is a little bit more spread out. Which is nice and great is that we still have people coming in to register. Yes, we are still doing the vaccination. As many know there’s been a pause on the Johnson & Johnson, so we are offering Pfizer today.”

Because homeless residents have limited accessibility, many of them brought up concerns about the vaccine. Taitano and Margarita Gay, DPHSS community health and nursing SVC administrator, say they will make sure their clients will receive their second doses.

“We’re going to be working with our outreach teams as well to make sure that our clients who do receive the vaccination today are contacted when it comes time to get their second dose. We’re going to work hard to ensure that they get their second dose,” Taitano said.

Margarita Gay added: “We have some of their information, at least where they were located at night, so we have some of our nurses at our community health nurses that go out into the community and with the coalition members. Caseworkers will go ahead and distribute the flyers to coordinate with them to come back to the outreach.”
If the residents were to feel any side effects from the vaccines, Gay says they can go to the community health center in Dededo and will work with the pharmacists.

If the homeless have any side effects from the vaccines, Gay says they can go to the community health center in Dededo. If the side effects become more serious, they must go to the Guam Memorial Hospital.

The clinic was originally going to have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for Friday but this was changed after the governor made the announcement on Wednesday to halt the use of the vaccine on Guam after reports of blood-clotting issues.

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