City’s health commissioner calls for action on mental health issues and urges vaccination

The health commissioner for the city is demanding action to be taken about vaccinations and the current issue in mental health.

On Tuesday’s episode of “Mornings On 1” with Pat Kiernan, Dr. Ashwin Vasan stressed that as the colder months approach, New Yorkers should get their flu shots and COVID-19 boosters.

“Whatever comes our way with COVID, this new, updated booster should protect us against the old and new variants – and of course, it’s always important to get your flu shot entering the fall,” Vasan said, noting that the two shots are safe to take together.

Switching gears, Vasan also took a moment to discuss the recent death of FDNY EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, referring to it as “an incredible tragedy” that is most likely the result of an ongoing mental health crisis in New York City. He said that the crisis is likely the result of a lack of resources and support for people who are experiencing mental health issues.

“Everyone who lives with serious mental illness, potentially like the gentleman who committed this act, needs health care, they need a home and they need a community. And too often we focus on the first two things,” the commissioner said.

He came to the conclusion that it would most likely take years to tackle the problem, which, according to him, is the consequence of decades of ignoring individuals who are in need of services related to mental health.

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