Councilman Fernando faults racial distribution of vaccines, calls for more in communities of color

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Councilman Fernando Cabrera has called for more vaccine distribution in communities of color.

While making the call on Monday February 1, 2021, Cabrera cited the continuing disproportionate racial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color in New York City, as well as glaring differences in the numbers of African-Americans and Latinos receiving the vaccine compared to whites.

“It’s unthinkable that almost 50% of New Yorkers who’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine are white when whites are roughly one-third of the city’s population, while Blacks and Latinos, who together are more than half the population, are only 26% of vaccine recipients,” said Cabrera.

“We need a different strategy to end this racial disparity. I’m calling for more vaccine sites in black and brown communities immediately.

“Our Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) can be a major force in the vaccine distribution process. I recently visited the new vaccine unit at Morris Heights Health Center (MHHC),” he added.

“Large numbers of people were there to get vaccinated on the first day, with than 2,000 people already on the waiting list for appointments. The response has been so positive that MHHC has extended its hours to administer the shots.

“This proves there’s an easy solution to getting the vaccine to more black and brown communities, where more people are essential workers and more live with underlying conditions that put them at greater risk for contracting COVID-19,” Cabrera said.

“People know and trust the doctors, nurses and staff at neighborhood health centers and don’t have to travel long distances to get vaccinated at odd hours. Neighborhood health centers must play a bigger role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.

Morris Heights Health Center began administering the COVID-19 vaccine on January 5th, starting with its staff, before the vaccination unit opened.

To date, MHHC has administered 1,508 vaccines to neighborhood residents.

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