A mayor in one of Westchester’s largest cities is calling for better performance from Montefiore after it was made public that it had the lowest vaccination rate in the state of New York.
This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo highlighted the top and bottom performing hospitals in administering the allocations of vaccines provided to them, with some reaching 100 percent efficiency and Montefiore Mount Vernon at the bottom of the list with an 11 percent vaccination rate.
The next lowest-performing hospitals were Montefiore New Rochelle (23 percent), Brookdale Hospital Medical Center (24 percent), Wyoming County Hospital (26 percent), and NYC Health + Hospital/Queens (29 percent).
In response, Mount Vernon Mayor Shawn Patterson-Howard said that she was “disturbed” by the new information on the failure of Montefiore to distribute the vaccines.
“While we are not responsible for the rollout of the vaccine, we are at the mercy of Montefiore,” she said in a statement. “In Mount Vernon, we have a lower infection rate due to the outreach and work we’ve done with our COVID taskforce, but the lack of cooperation from Montefiore has been frustrating.”
Patterson-Howard said that the city is willing to sit down with Montefiore to expedite the distribution of the vaccine, but she needs to know their action plan, and see a significant increase in vaccination administration in the next seven days.
The mayor added that the city is willing to create public space to help administer the vaccine, but it needs to know what Montefiore’s plan is.
“The City of Mount Vernon backs the vaccination of the vulnerable,” she said. “As the only majority-minority city in the state of New York, with numbers of residents who are over 65 and a population of pre-existing conditions, there are serious concerns about the racial disparities in healthcare being presented by Montefiore.”
With Montefiore disappointing, Patterson-Howard said the city is working with Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center (MVNHC) CEO Judith Watson, who is also a member of the Governor’s Vaccine Equity Taskforce.
Patterson-Howard said that the MVNHC staff is working with her administration to vaccinate their staff, who will in turn work to test and vaccinate Mount Vernon.
At 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10 on Facebook and YouTube, Patterson-Howard will be having a public conversation with esteemed minority medical professionals about the vaccine. She said that other outreach programs are also in the works to help educate the community about the vaccine.
“These black women will be on to discuss the efficacy of the vaccine, the trust issues surrounding the vaccine, and answer questions,” she said. “We’re also looking to partner with Westchester County to host a Town Hall on vaccinations with other mayors across the county in a few weeks.”
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