During a visit to a NYCHA pop up vaccination site in Central Brooklyn on Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to urge eligible New Yorkers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, highlighting skepticism in low income, Black and Latino communities.
“My mother and my daughters, I would not let take the vaccine unless I thought it was safe. It is safe,” said Cuomo.
The governor said vaccine distribution will come down to two questions: “can you get it, and will you take it?”
Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries and Congressmember Yvette Clarke joined the governor, highlighting the importance of vaccination pop-up sites in communities that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A community based site is the best way to make sure that vaccines are administered to those who need it the most,” said Jeffries. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of pain and suffering and death throughout the land, in extraordinary ways. But most particularly, to Black and brown communities that have been traditionally underserved and lacking resources under ordinary circumstances.”
Cuomo says the state is working hard to provide the vaccine through partnerships with some 300 churches and public housing authorities across New York. But, “it’s up to New Yorkers to take it,” he said.
Cuomo blamed the previous administration for some of this skepticism. He said the former president highly politicized the vaccine instead of focusing on public health.
“I believe in the vaccine,” he said, stating it was vetted by a panel of New York doctors who deemed it safe.
Cuomo said people in minority communities died from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than white people.
“When it comes to the vaccine, access has to be fair across the board,” he said.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke echoed the same sentiment, urging people in underserved communities to get the vaccine.
“We cannot turn back, I personally have taken the vaccine, as you can see, I am fine.” she said.
This push to raise awareness of vaccine safety comes as the state temporarily ran out of vaccine doses.
Next week, 240,000 more doses are expected, but that’s less than previous shipments closer to 300,000, according to the governor.
Cuomo says the state has been administering 80,000 doses per day, and is prepared to up that to 100,000. But that it’s nowhere near the amount of people that are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Seven million New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive the shot, right now 1.3 million were able to book an appointment and roll up their sleeves. Cuomo says at this rate, it would take up to 17 weeks to reach the seniors and essential workers who are currently eligible.