Cuomo to expand community vaccination kit program

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks during a ceremony in New York on Jan. 24, 2019. (AP / Mark Lennihan)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Saturday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York will be expanding its deployment of community vaccination kits and Syracuse will be one of those location.

Last week, New York successfully piloted the deployment kits to five NYCHA senior housing developments and eight churches and cultural centers where nearly 4,200 seniors and eligible New Yorkers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Kits are now being redeployed to four additional NYCHA sites and eight other churches to further build on that progress. In total, this initiative is expected to provide the first doses of the vaccine to an additional 3,000 seniors and eligible New Yorkers by Tuesday. As with the pop-up sites established last weekend, these sites will be re-established in three weeks to administer second doses.

Following this weekend’s deployments and as the federal vaccine supply increases, New York will continue to be deploy these kits until pop-up sites have been established at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments which house more than 7,600 seniors. Pop-up locations will also be established at other public housing complexes statewide, as well as at more than 300 churches and cultural centers which have volunteered to house these sites through Governor Cuomo’s Vaccine Equity Task Force.

“COVID has created a different dynamic in this country — I call it low tide in America,” Governor Cuomo said. “If you go to the amazing Shirley Chisholm Park and look at the bay during high tide, it looks beautiful, but if you go at low tide, you can see all the ugliness on the bottom. That’s what we’ve seen over this past year during America’s low tide – the racism, the discrimination, the inequality – and COVID has only exacerbated that problem. The undeniable fact is that COVID has killed the Black and Latino communities at a higher rate than the white community. There is no getting around that and it’s why New York has made ensuring fairness and equity in the vaccine distribution such a priority. I understand there is a level of skepticism about the vaccine given how it was managed by the previous administration, but that’s why New York did its own review. It’s safe, it’s effective, and it’s the weapon that will win the war, but we will only be successful if everyone is on board.”

The establishment of these four NYCHA sites was made possible through a partnership with SOMOS Community Care which runs the scheduling process and provides health care workers to administer the vaccine to eligible New Yorkers with appointments. The sites opening this weekend are as follows:

Bronx
Randall Avenue-Balcom Avenue Housing
2705 Schley Avenue
Bronx, NY 10465

Union Avenue-East 163 Street Housing
950 Union Avenue
Bronx, NY 10459

Brooklyn
William Reid Apartments
720 East New York Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203

Vandalia Avenue Housing
17 Vandalia Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11239

Eight church-based sites are also opening this weekend at the following locations:

Albany
Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church
24 Ten Broeck St.
Albany NY 12210

Hours: Monday, January 25th 10am-6pm
Medical Partnership: Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center

Syracuse
People’s AME Zion Church
2306 S Salina St.
Syracuse, NY 13205

Hours: Monday, January 25th 1-4pm
Medical Partnership: Onondaga County

Rochester
Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
141 Adams St
Rochester, NY 14606

Hours: Monday, January 25th 10am-6pm
Medical Partnership: Monroe County

Buffalo
St. John Baptist Church
184 Goodell St
Buffalo NY 14204

Hours: Monday, January 25th 10am-5pm
Medical Partnership: Community Health Center of Buffalo/Erie County Medical Center

Bronx
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church 
777 East 222nd St. Bronx, NY 10467

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 9am-5pm
Medical Partnership: SOMOS Community Care

Brooklyn 
Bethany Baptist Church 
460 Marcus Garvey Blvd Brooklyn NY 11216

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 9am-5pm
Medical Partnership: SOMOS Community Care

Nassau
Memorial Presbyterian
189 Babylon Turnpike #1
Roosevelt, NY 11552

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 2-6pm
Medical Partnership: Northwell Hospital

Suffolk
St. Hugh of Lincoln Church
21 E 9th Street
Huntington Station, NY 11746

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 2-6pm
Medical Partnership: Northwell Hospital 

Appointments at church-based sites are scheduled independently by each individual church.

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