BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–They are called “pop-up” vaccination sites because they were chosen more for their location than for health purposes. A state task force chose the Delavan Grider Community Center, and three-dozen other sites across New York, but city lawmakers say more are needed.
A statewide health equity task force chose the Delavan Grider Community Center for a pop-up vaccination site, and limited the initial appointments to residents in 10 targeted zip codes.
North District Councilman Joe Golombek was shocked the 14207 zip code was excluded.
“We had the third highest amount of positive COVID tests in Erie County. We had the fourth highest percentage of individuals with COVID.”
Golombek pointed out the 14207 zip code includes a number of low-income housing developments such as Shaffer Village.. and many of the neighborhoods in his district are under served.
“This is an equity issue. This is not a ‘well we were close,” we were hurt pretty bad.”
Niagara Councilman David Rivera agreed, state and federal officials need to set up more vaccinations sites.
“In all parts of the city of Buffalo, especially in areas that people are very vulnerable and have a history of not receiving the health care that they should be receiving.”
Council President Darius Pridgen is on the health equity task force, whose mission is to overcome the vaccine hesitancy and poor accessibility in communities of color. Pridgen says Delavan Grider is a good location, but the city does need more from the state.
“Obviously there are people who will benefit from the one that the state actually chose, not even the Health Equity Task Force. I want to be clear, the governor’s office chose that site.”
Councilman David Rivera says he and others are meeting with the health equity task force, to make their case. The pop-up clinic starts vaccinations Wednesday, but as of March 10, the pop-up clinic will be open to anyone from Erie County.
To see if you qualify to get a vaccine and schedule an appointment, click/tap here.
Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here.