Black and brown clergy push communities to vaccinate

New York News

NEW YORK (NEWS10/WSYR) — A coalition of Black and brown spiritual leaders joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the Javits Center to urge their communities to put their trust in the vaccine. Cuomo also announced that ten new vaccination sites would open statewide, including one in Queensbury.

Members of the clergy united to make a powerful statement in the face of vaccine hesitancy. The Rev. Gilbert Pickett was vaccinated at the end of the briefing. “As a New Yorker and as a pastor,” he said, “I am taking this vaccine today. Alluding to COVID variants that have been identified statewide, he said, “We need to stop this virus here and now” before it mutates or worsens.

Cuomo laid out the importance of vaccine equity, using a breakdown of demographics of vaccine recipients in New York City:

Race% of population% of vaccinations
White53%57%
Black27%18%
Hispanic/Latino28%20%
Asian16%23%

“Well, ‘Why?’ is the question,” Cuomo said.

Pickett quoted scripture—”I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”—and encouraged more houses of worship to take part in statewide efforts to get communities of color vaccinated. Cuomo also announced that the state will open 10 more state-run mass vaccination sites as the federal supply of COVID-19 vaccines increases.

Sites are still in development and will open in the coming weeks. Final details, including appointment scheduling and hours of operation, will be released in the next few days.

“Thanks to increasing vaccine supply from our partners in Washington we can utilize more of our state’s capacity to distribute doses, and once they are open, these new sites will allow us to continue to get shots into arms on a large scale,” Governor Cuomo said. “We know the vaccine is the weapon that will win this war, but it’s only effective if we all take it, which is why we are working around the clock to establish sites like these across the state to reach as many New Yorkers as possible. The more people we vaccinate, the more we can continue our progress in keeping the infection rate at bay, reopening our economy, and defeating COVID once and for all.”

The 10 sites being established will open in the coming weeks at the following locations:

  • SUNY Stony Brook SH Campus – 70 Tuckahoe Road, Southampton
  • Suffolk Community College Brentwood Campus – 502 Wicks Road, Brentwood
  • SUNY Old Westbury – Clark Center – Gate C, 223 Store Hill Road, Old Westbury
  • SUNY Orange – Diana Physical Education Center, 9 East Conkling Avenue, Middletown
  • Ulster County Fairgrounds – 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz
  • Queensbury Site – 50 Gurney Lane, Queensbury
  • SUNY Oneonta – 108 Ravine Parkway, Oneonta
  • Corning Community College – Gymnasium and Wellness Education Center, 1 Academic Drive, Corning
  • Conference Center of Niagara Falls – 101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls
  • Bronx site – location pending

Established state-run vaccination sites include:

  • Aqueduct Racetrack – Racing Hall, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, South Ozone Park
  • Dome Arena, 2695 East Henrietta Road, Rochester
  • Javits Center, 429 11th Avenue, New York City
  • Jones Beach – Field 3, 1 Ocean Pkwy, Wantagh
  • Plattsburgh International Airport – Connecticut Building, 213 Connecticut Rd, Plattsburgh,
  • State Fair Expo Center: NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse
  • SUNY Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany
  • SUNY Binghamton, 10 Gannett Drive, Johnson City
  • SUNY at Buffalo South Campus – Harriman Hall, 3435 Main St., Buffalo
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institue – Wildcat Field House, 880 Wildcat Drive, Utica
  • SUNY Potsdam Field House, 44 Pierrepont Ave, Potsdam
  • SUNY Stony Brook, 100 Nichols Rd, Stony Brook
  • Westchester County Center, 198 Central Avenue, White Plains

New Yorkers looking to make an appointment can visit New York’s “Am I Eligible” website or by calling the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at (833)-NYS-4-VAX.

Also as part of Monday’s event, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, “Herd immunity will finally put covid on the defense and allow us to move forward.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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