Nurses will administer free flu shots to Latino workers and low-income immigrants Friday at in Southampton Village as part of a public health program advanced by immigrant advocate Allan B. Ramirez, the reverend of Brookville Reformed Church.
The program is sponsored by law firms 1-800-CANTASO of Brentwood, and Ferro, Kuba, Mangano, Sklyar, P.C., of Hauppauge, as well as community groups and local businesses.
“Rev. Allan Ramirez is the person who put it all together initially,” William V. Ferro, the managing partner of Ferro, Kuba, Mangano, Sklyar, P.C. said Friday. He said his firm, which services many Latino clients, joined the effort four years ago to give back to the community. The flu shots are obtained at cost and fees are underwritten by the law firms, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and community sponsorship.
“Over the last four years it's really expanded,” Ferro said. Shots are offered at locations as far west as Westbury and as far east as Southampton. The aim is to lower the number of avoidable hospital visits by the uninsured, he said. “This is a pretty simple way to keep people healthy.”
This is the third year Southampton Tire is participating. Vaccinations will be from 1 to 3 p.m.
“We don’t turn anybody down, so anybody who shows up and who wants to receive a free flu shut is eligible,” Ferro said. Close to 1,000 vaccinations were administered in 2010, he said.
Southampton Tire is located on North Sea Road, an area where migrant workers gather in hopes of being picked up to work. It is also where anti-illegal immigration protesters Tom Wedell and Ricky King wave flags and signs to deter contractors and others from hiring the workers.
When the economy took a nosedive, and the available jobs dried up, the tire center and local nuns offered free lunches to migrant workers. The makeshift soup kitchen was temporarily shut down by Southampton Village, before the chief building inspector reversed the decision, allowing it to reopen.
Ferro said his firm has been promoting the vaccination events five days on week on its radio show on Latin radio station La Fiesta 98.5 FM.