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NYS to expand vaccination network to include sites designed to serve 65-plus

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Fri, Feb 26th 2021 04:00 pm

State will partner with local health departments to include vaccination sites specifically for 65+ population

Sites will offer transportation & assistance services

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced the state will partner with local health departments to include vaccination sites for the 65-plus population across New York. These sites will be in partnership with local health departments and, where needed, will provide assistance to New Yorkers with transportation to and from the vaccination facilities and special support for paperwork regarding their vaccination.

As New York's vaccine allocations increase, these 65-plus priority facilities and appointments will be enabled from additional supply from the federal government. Counties across the state will be getting an increased supply of Moderna vaccine for this purpose starting next week.

"New York is getting more and more needles in arms every single day, with a focus on vaccinating our most vulnerable residents," Cuomo said. "We know that our senior New Yorkers are more at risk with COVID, and it's critical that we provide them with access to the vaccine right in their own communities, as well as the assistance they need to schedule and get to and from their appointments. By working together with our local health departments to establish these new sites, we will help ensure the process of receiving a vaccine is as simple as possible for our 65-plus population and get closer to reaching our goal of social equity and fairness through vaccine distribution."

Details on sites, including locations, opening dates and hours of operations, will be forthcoming from the site host or sponsor. As a reminder, eligible New Yorkers are able to schedule appointments at state mass vaccination sites 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).

A press release stated, “New York has worked to implement a number of enhancements to the hotline to further improve the appointment-making process and experience for seniors, a line specifically for those New Yorkers who are 75-plus, providing them direct access to staff who can help with scheduling or answer questions.”

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 104 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 45,000 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 the task force.

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