Virtua Health Introduces Sensory Rooms for Vaccine Recipients with Special Needs

By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor

MARLTON, N.J. — Virtua Health has introduced measures that will make vaccinations more inclusive for community members with special needs.

The healthcare chain has introduced sensory rooms at the Burlington County mega site, which is located at the Moorestown Mall in Moorestown. These rooms are designed to help patients with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses feel safe and secure while receiving their doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The sensory rooms are designed with comfortable seating options like bean bags and low-to-the-ground gaming chairs, maroon walls, and a smaller amount of overhead lighting. They were designed by members of Virtua Health’s staff, including some from Virtua’s pediatric rehabilitation services unit.

“So far, the sensory rooms have been well-received by vaccine recipients and their families,” Maria Emerson, who serves as director of Virtua’s rehabilitation services, said in a press release. “I applaud the mega-site organizers for being broad-minded in their vision and recognizing that different people experience the world in different ways.”

Virtua created a guide for residents with special needs regarding vaccination procedures, which you can check out here.

To date, Virtua Health’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts have been relatively successful. The South Jersey-based healthcare chain has put more than 100,000 shots in arms since it began vaccinating community members on December 18. New Jersey has now vaccinated more than 2.5 million residents, and its progress is more than halfway to the initial goal of vaccinating 70% of adult residents, or 4.7 million people.

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