New York State opened two large vaccination sites on Wednesday in Brooklyn and Queens, part of an effort to boost inoculations in neighborhoods that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and where residents include some of those most vulnerable to severe illness from the virus.
The sites, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, were built to “bring the vaccine to the community that needs it most,” said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a news conference at the Queens site, located at York College in Jamaica, on Wednesday. “And we’re going to give that community priority to get the vaccine.”
Each site is expected to provide 3,000 vaccine doses a day; Mr. Cuomo said they are the largest vaccination sites in the state so far.
Appointments are reserved only for eligible people who live in ZIP codes surrounding each location, many of which are home to low-income communities of color and immigrant communities who remain the hardest hit by the virus. After Saturday, the sites will be open to those in the surrounding borough.
At the York College site, the targeted ZIP codes are all in southeastern Queens. They include parts of Jamaica, South Jamaica and Far Rockaway, which were hit particularly hard by the virus and where only 3 or 4 percent of adults have received at least one vaccine dose.
The site in Brooklyn, at Medgar Evers College, will first focus on vaccinating residents in parts of East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick, East Flatbush, Canarsie and Bedford-Stuyvesant, which include some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city and have disproportionately low vaccination rates. It is also open to residents of neighborhoods that have been hit somewhat less severely by the virus, including Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill, which have large communities of color.
Data released by New York City officials showed that many of the areas being targeted by the state sites had some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city, in some cases lagging significantly behind the share of residents vaccinated in wealthier ZIP codes in Manhattan that have higher proportions of white residents.
Experts say people across the country who live in underserved neighborhoods face a variety of obstacles in getting the vaccine, including registration systems and websites that can take hours to navigate; a lack of transportation; and difficulty getting time off from work to get a shot. Many people in communities of color also are more likely to be hesitant about getting vaccinated, in light of the history of unethical medical research in the United States.
According to the city’s data, white New Yorkers have so far received a disproportionate share of the doses administered. Of city residents who received at least one dose, about 42 percent were white, 15 percent were Latino, 16 percent were Asian and 12 percent were Black. Latino and Black residents were underrepresented: The city’s population is roughly 29 percent Latino and 24 percent Black.
Those eligible to receive the vaccine at the Brooklyn and Queens sites can schedule appointments online, by calling 1-833-697-4829 or by visiting the locations in person between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Appointments are required.
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