Furthers Governor's Directive to Distribute Vaccine in Communities Underserved by Traditional Health Care Institutions
State Urges New Yorkers to Be Patient When Making Appointments; Over 7 Million New Yorkers Are Currently Eligible but the State Only Receives 300K/Week From the Federal Government
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first five community vaccination kits have been deployed to NYCHA housing developments across New York City. These sites bolster New York State's efforts to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in communities that are underserved by traditional healthcare institutions. The sites are strictly limited to eligible NYCHA residents. Residents can make appointments by contacting Somos, the state's partner organization, by calling 1-833-SOMOSNY.
New Yorkers are urged to be patient when making appointments to be vaccinated. The State's vaccine supply is determined by the federal government, and although over 7 million New Yorkers are now eligible for the COVID vaccine, the state only receives 300,000 doses per week from the federal government. Due to the federal government's limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly. Please call your local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments.
"We have one priority and one priority alone - getting shots into arms - and as we continue our work to expand the network of vaccination sites, it's critical to make sure the vaccine is distributed fairly and equitably," Governor Cuomo said. "Getting the vaccine to New Yorkers who are underserved by traditional health care institutions or living in health care deserts is a top priority, and these sites in NYCHA housing bring us a step closer to that goal. New York doing its part in getting the vaccine distributed quickly and fairly, but we need the federal government to step up and increase the supply. With We have come too far and been through too much to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, only to be stymied by a slow federal distribution process."
The five sites for eligible NYCHA residents with appointments are located at the addresses below:
- West Tremont Avenue-Sedgwick Avenue Area, 200 West Tremont Ave., Bronx, NY 10453
- Stuyvesant Gardens II, 150 Malcolm X Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11221
- East Harlem
- 307 East 116 St., New York, NY 10029
- International Tower 90-20 170 St., Queens, NY 11432
- Staten Island
- 230 Broad St., Staten Island, NY 10304
SOMOS Community Care President Dr. Henry Chen said, "We have worked from day one of this pandemic to bring equitable and culturally responsive care to underserved New Yorkers, and we will keep working until everyone is vaccinated—that means essential workers and vulnerable New Yorkers including seniors, who live here at the Corsi Houses. Thank you, Secretary Rosado and Governor Cuomo, for leaning on community physicians like us so that people of color - especially the at-risk and elderly - don't fall through the cracks. Continued collaboration between the city and organizations like SOMOS is vital to combating this pandemic and to build a relationship with underserved communities based on trust throughout the vaccination process. We are here as long as you need us and the residents of Corsi Houses and places just like it need us."
SOMOS Community Care Chairman Dr. Ramon Tallaj said, "Since the beginning, SOMOS has committed each day to the belief that a community is best treated by its own family doctors—by doctors who reflect the languages, cultures, and experiences of the patients and can build trust and relationships that keep patients returning for quality preventative care and treatment when they need it. This imperative is that much greater during our nation's biggest mobilization effort - to vaccinate our people and finally put an end to the pandemic that has taken our loved ones and disproportionately devasted low-income, immigrant, communities of color. I am grateful to Secretary Rosado and Governor Cuomo for collaborating with us in the shared effort of protecting our city and all of its inhabitants, especially here at NYCHA, where so many vulnerable essential workers and elderly New Yorkers live. Here and everywhere, we are ready to continue doing what we do best and deliver a standard of care that provides comfort & confidence just as much as it does good health and effective treatment."
New York is continuing to move forward on a number of special efforts to ensure resources are in place to facilitate widespread vaccination, especially in underserved communities and health care deserts. The state has continues to build Community Vaccination Kits and work with public housing officials, churches, and community centers to support these efforts and deploy kits to the appropriate locations. Each kit includes step-by-step instructions for how to set up a site, and critical supplies and equipment such as:
- Office Supplies
- Workstation Equipment
- Communications Equipment
- Cleaning Supplies
- Lighting Equipment
- Crowd/Traffic Control Equipment
- Room Dividers
- Privacy Curtains
The opening of these sites furthers Governor Cuomo's goal of ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. In late 2020, the Governor announced the launch of New York's Vaccine Equity Task Force chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Attorney General Letitia James, National Urban League President & CEO Marc Morial, and Healthfirst President & CEO Pat Wang. Since its establishment, the Task Force has continued work to ensure vulnerable and underserved communities are not left behind by breaking down the barriers to vaccination and ensuring there is equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state.
This deployment is part of the state's efforts to further accelerate the vaccination rate of priority health care workers and begin the vaccination of newly eligible New Yorkers. New York has established a network of distribution sites that will supplement the work being done in hospitals to prevent any one hospital from becoming overburdened. This new network will also utilize doctors' offices, Federally-Qualified Health Centers, county health departments, ambulatory centers and pharmacies to get doses in the arms of eligible New Yorkers. More than 1,200 pharmacies have already committed to participating in this network, with nearly 400 scheduled to come on-line this week. Pharmacies will be provided vaccines for New Yorkers aged 65 and older, while hospitals will continue vaccinating 1a healthcare workers, and local health departments and union-organized efforts will serve essential workers in 1b.