New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that 13 new community-based pop-up vaccination sites will be coming online this week at churches, community centers, public housing complexes, and cultural centers across the state to “bolster the state’s commitment to ensuring fairness and equity in the vaccine distribution process.”
The sites are expected to vaccinate more than 3,800 people this week, with more sites expected to open up in the coming weeks. Since the community-based pop-up sites starting going online last month more than 42,500 New Yorkers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the Hudson Valley, pop-up sites are being opened in Rockland, at the Haverstraw Community Center on West Broad Street, and in Westchester, at the Port Chester Senior Center on Grace Church Street.
Both pop-up sites are going to be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., though the appointments have already been filled, officials noted.
Cuomo said that the sites will be re-established in three weeks to administer the second doses to those who receive the first this week.
"COVID impacted communities of color at a much higher rate, and it exposed the inequalities that have existed in our nation's health care system for decades," Cuomo said. "From day one we have made the fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine a top priority, but two issues still exist, especially in our Black and Brown communities - accessibility and skepticism.
"These pop-up sites allow us to work with the local leaders and trusted voices in those communities that were hit the hardest by COVID, helping to ensure access to and instill confidence in the vaccine, while also furthering our goal to vaccinate every single New Yorker."
The pop-up sites receive a limited amount of the vaccine, which is earmarked for certain members of the community, officials noted.
Vaccination sites are planned for all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments, and at more than 300 churches and cultural centers that volunteered to house the sites.
"The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war against COVID, however, to be truly effective, we must ensure it is distributed fairly and equitably," Cuomo said. "The sad truth is that not only has COVID devastated communities of color on a much larger scale than white ones, but there continues to be skepticism towards the vaccine itself, especially in the Black community.
"That's why this effort continues to be so critical to our success -- by setting up these sites and partnering directly with the leaders and organizations who are trusted voices in these communities, we can simultaneously ensure access to the vaccine, while instilling confidence in it as well."
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