Eight churches around New York State will serve as pop-up sites for vaccine kit distribution as officials work to vaccinate people in the Black and Latino communities. 

Churches in Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse will operate vaccine sites as well as churches in Brooklyn, the Bronx and on Long Island. 

The pop-up sites are opening amid concerns over vaccine hesitancy among people of color, hesitancy that is historically rooted in part by medical experiments conducted on Black people in the mid-20th century.

"The undeniable fact is that COVID has killed the Black and Latino communities at a higher rate than the white community," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

"There is no getting around that and its why New York has made ensuring fairness and equity in the vaccine distribution such a priority. I understand there is a level of skepticism about the vaccine given how it was managed by the previous administration, but that's why New York did its own review. It's safe, it's effective, and it's the weapon that will win the war, but we will only be successful if everyone is on board."

Cuomo on Saturday announced community pop-up vaccination sites at public housing locations in New York City.

A Siena College poll released on Monday found a quarter of voters do not plan to receive the vaccine. The poll found 58% of Black voters want to be vaccinated; 61% of Latino voters plan to get it compared to 72% of white voters. 

State Sen. James Sanders postponed on Friday announced he would cancel a podcast discussion that had initially promoted the participation of an anti-vaccine advocate. 

"To be clear, Senator Sanders believes the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and he plans to take the vaccine publicly, as soon as its available," his office said in a statement. "As always, Senator Sanders will lead from the front and work with community leaders to ensure the equitable distribution of the vaccine throughout his district."

So far, more than 1.1 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state, and predominantly those have been first doses. New York has virtually exhausted its vaccine allocation and is expected to receive another batch of about 240,000 doses next week. 

Cuomo has blamed the lagging distribution on a lack of supply at the federal level. Local officials have been increasingly impatient, however, with the state's own efforts to distribute the vaccine doses once they arrive.

Here is the full list of participating churches:

Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church
24 Ten Broeck St.
Albany NY 12210

Hours: Monday, January 25th 10am-6pm
Medical Partnership: Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center

People's AME Zion Church
2306 S Salina St.
Syracuse, NY 13205

Hours: Monday, January 25th 1-4pm
Medical Partnership: Onondaga County

Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
141 Adams St
Rochester, NY 14606

Hours: Monday, January 25th 10am-6pm
Medical Partnership: Monroe County

St. John Baptist Church
184 Goodell St
Buffalo NY 14204

Hours: Monday, January 25th 10am-5pm
Medical Partnership: Community Health Center of Buffalo/Erie County Medical Center


St. Luke's Episcopal Church

777 East 222nd St. Bronx, NY 10467

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 9am-5pm

Medical Partnership: SOMOS Community Care



Bethany Baptist Church 

460 Marcus Garvey Blvd Brooklyn NY 11216

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 9am-5pm
Medical Partnership: SOMOS Community Care



Memorial Presbyterian

189 Babylon Turnpike #1

Roosevelt, NY 11552"

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 2-6pm
Medical Partnership: Northwell Hospital



St. Hugh of Lincoln Church

21 E 9th Street

Huntington Station, NY 11746"

Hours: Tuesday, January 26th 2-6pm
Medical Partnership: Northwell Hospital