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Community-based pop-up vaccination sites coming online this week

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Wed, Feb 3rd 2021 01:55 pm

To provide first doses to 25,000-plus

35 additional community vaccination kits deployed
Past deployment of kits have enabled over 9,000 New Yorkers to receive first dosage of vaccine at community-based 'pop up' vaccination sites

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced 35 community-based pop-up vaccination sites coming online this week at churches, community centers, public housing complexes and cultural centers. These sites are expected to vaccinate over 25,000 people throughout the week, with more sites coming online every week.

Since Jan. 15, the deployment of these kits have enabled nearly 9,000 New Yorkers to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose at these community-based pop up sites. As has been the case with previous pop-up sites, these sites will be reestablished in three weeks to administer second doses.

Following this week's deployments and as the federal vaccine supply increases, New York will continue to 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 continue to 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 Cuomo's vaccine equity task force.

"COVID brought the ugly truth of inequity and inequality in this country to a tipping point," Cuomo said. "COVID has killed Black and Latino New Yorkers at a higher rate and that is why these community-based sites are one of New York's vaccine priorities. More than 9,000 New Yorkers have been vaccinated through this effort and, by making the vaccine accessible and delivered by trusted community partners, we can address the skepticism and bring this life-saving vaccine to those who need it most. The light at the end of the tunnel is bright and getting brighter with each new location and each shot administered."

The establishment of many of these vaccination sites was made possible by the deployment of these vaccination kits and through partnerships with multiple public and private health care providers.

Of the 35 “pop-ups” being established this week, the local sites include:

•The Belle Center

104 Maryland St., Buffalo; open Thursday, Feb. 4

Provider Partnership: GBUAHN/Urban Family Practice

•Mt. Olive Baptist Church

701 E. Delavan Ave., Buffalo; open Thursday, Feb. 4
Provider Partnership: Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health, Community Health Center of Buffalo

•Second Baptist Church

18 Church St., Lackawanna; open Friday, Feb. 5

Provider Partnership: Catholic Health

•Wrobel Towers

800 Niagara Ave., Niagara Falls; open Thursday, Feb. 4

Provider Partnership: Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

•Doris Jones Family Resource Building

3001 9th St., Niagara Falls; open Friday, Feb. 5

Provider Partnership: Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

A press release said this expanded deployment of community vaccination kits furthers 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 and CEO Marc Morial, and Healthfirst President and CEO Pat Wang.

The release added, “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.”

To facilitate this effort, New York has continued to build 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
  • PPE
  • Crowd/traffic control equipment
  • Vials
  • Syringes
  • Room dividers

Vaccination Efforts

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, New York's health care distribution sites have received 1,554,450 first doses and already administered 92% (1,432,195) first dose vaccinations, and 77% of first and second doses. Delivery of the week eight allocation from the federal government is in the process of being delivered to providers for administration.

"New York has a vast network of providers and ‘pop-up’ sites capable of distributing 100,000 vaccine doses per day. The problem we continue to see is, our operational capacity for administering the vaccine quickly and fairly, and the demand for the vaccine among more than 7 million eligible New Yorkers far exceeds the supply," Cuomo said. "Yesterday, we learned our supply will increase by more than 20% and that's really great news. Providers can plan to have more supply for at least three weeks and schedule out more appointments to vaccinate their assigned priority group. It's going to take time, but the light at the end of the tunnel is bright and we will come back from this because we are ‘New York Tough.’ "

State demographic data of hospital workers in the 1A eligibility group who were offered and accepted the vaccine provides insight into the vaccine hesitancy/acceptance rate among New Yorkers. The demographic breakdown of the eligible 1A population is 70% white; 17% Black or African American; 8% Hispanic or Latino; and 11% Asian hospital workers. Of the total 1A eligible population, 63% of vaccine recipients were white, 10% of vaccine recipients were Black or African American; 10% of vaccine recipients were Hispanic or Latino, and 16% of vaccine recipients were Asian.

Approximately 7.1 million New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. Though the federal government has increased the weekly supply by 20% over the next three weeks, New York's distribution network and population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government.

Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

Vaccination program numbers are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state's vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government's long-term-care facility program. A county-by-county breakdown of vaccination through the long-term-care facility program is available on the New York state vaccine dashboard tracker.

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