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Eligible New Yorkers can begin making appointments at state-FEMA vaccination sites including Buffalo

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Wed, Feb 24th 2021 09:45 am

Sites open Wednesday, March 3; make appointments through 'Am I Eligible' website or by calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829)

Appointment scheduling initially reserved for areas with low vaccination rates for one week; appointments will then open to all residents of counties served by each site

Targeting underserved communities

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced eligible New Yorkers in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Yonkers areas can begin making appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the state-FEMA community-based vaccination sites scheduled to open Wednesday, March 3, in the four cities. The four vaccination sites will operate between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily and each site has the capacity to administer 1,000 doses per day. 

A press release stated, “These sites are part of New York state's ongoing efforts to fight vaccine hesitancy and bring the vaccine to communities underserved by traditional health care institutions.”

Eligible New Yorkers will be able to schedule appointments 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). Appointments can also be made by visiting the sites when they open March 3.

For the first week of scheduling, appointments at the four sites are initially reserved specifically for New Yorkers currently eligible for vaccination living in areas with low vaccination rates. After one week, appointments at each site will then be made available to all residents of counties served by the site.

"From day one, our top priority has been to ensure the equitable distribution of the vaccine by establishing vaccination sites directly in the communities that were hit the hardest by the pandemic," Cuomo said. "These four sites in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Yonkers are giving initial priority for appointments to New Yorkers living in areas with low vaccination rates and high COVID positivity rates, and I encourage everyone in these regions who is eligible to make an appointment quickly. The vaccine is safe and effective, but it can only work if we get it into people's arms. The more shots that we administer, the faster we can correct the injustice that our underserved communities have suffered and reach our goal of becoming the first COVID-free state."

The local location is the Delavan Grider Community Center at 877 East Delavan Ave., Buffalo. Eligible ZIP codes include 14209, 14201, 14208, 14213, 14211, 14215, 14214, 14204, 14222 and 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 nonclinical 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. The release said, “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 104 temporary community-based “pop-up” vaccination sites at churches, community centers and public housing complexes directly within communities across the state that, Cuomo’s team said, have been underserved by traditional health care systems. Since Jan. 15, these sites have enabled approximately 45,000 New Yorkers to receive a first COVID-19 vaccine dose. 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 that have volunteered to house these sites through the Vaccine Equity Task Force.

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