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MetroHealth, local health organizations join forces to vaccinate the homeless

In totally, nearly 100 people were vaccinated at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry.

CLEVELAND — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above originally aired on January 18, 2021.

As the state of Ohio continues its fight against the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, health officials are working to ensure the vaccine is available to everyone, including the homeless. 

On Friday, MetroHealth, the Cleveland Department of Public Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health joined forces to visit Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry Men's Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Ohio, to provide vaccines. 

The shot were administered by MetroHealth caregivers to those who work or reside at the shelter, located at 2100 Lakeside Avenue. 

In total, nearly 100 people were vaccinated.

“MetroHealth has a long history of providing health care and other services to our community’s most vulnerable, including the homeless population,” said MetroHealth CEO and President Akram Boutros, MD. “This vaccination program will help reduces the spread of COVID-19 and make everyone safer.”

According to Mayor Frank Jackson, the Cleveland Department of Health is working with the afore mentioned organizations to prioritize vaccine availability to the city's "most vulnerable" residents. 

“Those without adequate housing can be especially vulnerable to COVID-19, but by working as a community we can help provide fair vaccine access and delivery for our citizens,” said Mayor Jackson.

Those living in shelters are at the highest risk of contracting and transmitting COVID. This program targeting the homeless population will continue as long as vaccines provided to the City of Cleveland remain available.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 576,000 Ohioans have been completely vaccinated, totaling nearly five percent of the population. The Ohio Department of Health also reported Friday that there were 2,306 new cases of the coronavirus and 82 new deaths within the last 24 hours.