Site in Buffalo to open March 3; eligible New Yorkers can begin making appointments on Wednesday
Appointment scheduling initially reserved for areas with low vaccination rates for one week; appointments will then open to all residents of each site's host borough or county
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced the opening dates and scheduling information for the six community-based vaccination sites being established through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Specifically, the sites located in Brooklyn and Queens will begin vaccinations on Wednesday, Feb. 24, with the Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Yonkers sites slated to begin vaccinations on March 3. The Queens and Brooklyn sites will operate between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day. The Brooklyn and Queens sites each have the capacity to administer 3,000 does every day, while the sites in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Yonkers have the capacity to administer 1,000 doses per day.
Eligible New Yorkers can begin scheduling appointments for the Brooklyn and Queens sites at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, by utilizing New York's “Am I Eligible” website or by calling the state's COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). Appointment scheduling will then open for the Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers and Albany sites at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.
For the first week of scheduling, appointments at these six sites statewide are initially reserved specifically for New Yorkers currently eligible for vaccination living in areas with low vaccination rates in counties and boroughs. After one week, appointments at each site will then be made available to all residents of the site's host county, borough or specified target region.
"COVID created low tide in America, and all the ugliness, structural racism, injustice and disparity lurking beneath the surface was exposed," Cuomo said. "We know that communities of color suffered the most and from day one we've made the fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine a priority. With the opening of these sites, we will be making a dramatic impact on some of our hardest-hit communities to further bolster the work we're doing on the ground to get shots in arms. I thank the Biden administration for their partnership in making these locations a reality."
A press release stated, “While COVID-19 has had a damaging impact on the nation writ large, poor communities and communities of color have been particularly devastated by this virus, with Black and Latino people dying at a higher rate than white people. Since the beginning of the vaccine distribution process, another concerning trend has emerged – hesitancy toward the vaccine – especially in the Black community. With a large number of the essential workers coming from communities of color, these New Yorkers face an increased risk of contracting the virus simply due to the nature of their work. This has made it all the more important to not only continue working to instill confidence in the vaccine, but to also break down access barriers and ensure it is available directly within these communities.”
Location information and hours for Buffalo:
•Delavan Grinder Community Center
877 East Delavan Ave.
Eligible ZIP codes: 14209, 14201, 14208, 14213, 14211, 14215, 14214, 14204, 14222, 14212
With the support of FEMA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense and other federal agencies, these sites will mobilize federal clinical and non-clinical staff and contractors who will work with the National Guard, New York state, local leaders, and community-based organizations to establish and operate these sites. Each location will be tailored to meet the needs of the specific community it is serving.
In late 2020, the governor announced the launch of New York's Vaccine Equity Task Force chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, 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.
Additionally, New York has established more than 90 temporary community-based “pop-up” vaccination sites at churches, community centers and public housing complexes directly within communities across the state which have been underserved by traditional health care systems. Since Jan. 15, these sites have enabled approximately 42,500 New Yorkers to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose at these community-based pop-up sites. After the administration of first doses, sites are then reestablished three weeks later to administer second doses.
New York will continue to establish these pop-up sites until they have been placed 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.