Ocean County sets up free tetanus-shot clinics
LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - Ocean County's Health Department will be in the township this weekend providing free tetanus booster shots in their effort to assist communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.
It has been almost eight months since Hurricane Sandy. Mayor John Kehm said residents in Little Egg Harbor have been working amid debris since then to put their lives back together. Unfortunately, he said, this is the first time he has heard the county would offer this service to residents.
"I never got an email from them. ... If we were aware of that you know that would have been on our website so people would have been able to take advantage it," Kehm said.
Leslie Terjesen, spokeswoman for the Ocean County Health Department, said three weeks after the storm the department mailed a letter to affected municipalities, offering to come with free flu shots and tetanus vaccines.
"We let them know that we were constantly updating our websites. Then the next month, we sent out another letter and said once you are getting organized again, please feel free to call us and have us come down," Terjesen said.
Kehm said Committeeman Arthur Midgley is a member of the township's Board of Health committee and the county's plans never were discussed after the storm.
"This is something that would have definitely been mentioned. And for the people who didn't evacuate and were in the water and the elements, those are the people who probably need a shot like this," Kehm said.
The first weekend of this month the county brought its mobile unit with the vaccinations to the Home Depot in Stafford Township, because there was a desire to touch all corners of the county that were affected, Terjesen said.
There were inspectors from Little Egg Harbor Township who traveled north during the past several months to receive the vaccinations, she said.
But many Little Egg Harbor residents were displaced after the storm and didn't have transportation to travel to other locations to receive the service, Kehm said.
Kehm said he is pleased but wishes the county had come sooner with the offer for the shots.
Two weeks ago, the department's outreach vehicle was in Ortley Beach for three days distributing the tetanus booster along with literature regarding mold guidelines and West Nile virus, N95 masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.
The outreach staff will return to Ortley Beach later this month, Terjesen said.
"The reason we are going to Ortley Beach again is because we received so many calls that people didn't know it was happening, and there were so many people who weren't able to come. If we go to Little Egg and find out we have the same issue, we will be back," she said.
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If you go
The Ocean County Health Department will offer free tetanus booster shots 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 21-23 at the Little Egg Harbor Municipal Complex, 665 Radio Road, Little Egg Harbor Township