ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Around 40 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered to the homeless population at the Capital City Rescue Mission Tuesday afternoon.
“This is magic, what’s going on here today,” said Albany County Legislator Carolyn McLaughlin, who helped organize the effort.
McLaughlin says the location of the effort was a key in getting this population their vaccine.
“This is a place that they’re familiar with, because most people are going to places that they’re familiar with. That is when people are most likely to get it done,” she explained.
With a community that can often migrate throughout the region, the single dose J&J can be an effective tool in giving protection.
“Sometimes you never get the same group back. Makes it much simpler, and makes an assurance that they’re going to get the whole thing and not just half of it,” said Perry Jones, Executive Director of the Capital City Rescue Mission.
“We were afraid to come down here initially because all we’ve been able to vaccinate with is Pfizer, so you have to have that community come back in 21 days,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple added.
The homeless are a vulnerable population to reach, with many staying in congregate shelters and having comorbidities.
“The homeless population is very high-risk and hard to target, and they deserve just as much access to this vaccine as anybody else,” said Andrew Joyce, Chairman of the Albany County Legislature.
It was an exciting day for everyone, especially those finally getting their vaccine.
“This is a beautiful thing. It’s for free, the people need it. God is good, he takes care of his own. He’s good,” said Kenneth Taylor, who received his vaccine Tuesday.
Tuesday’s effort was coordinated between local legislators, the Albany County Sheriff and the Mission. Organizers hope to hold similar pods again in the future.