Mayor looks to expand
to homebound seniors
BY ARIAMA C. LONG
The effort to vaccinate New York
City’s most vulnerable populations
and end disparities in distribution
is out in full force this week, as Mayor Bill
de Blasio announced Tuesday the opening
of two more vaccine hubs in Brooklyn and
Staten Island, and a greater push to reach
Newly-released da ta shows that a total
of 1,336,382 fi rst doses so far. A record
317,227 doses were delivered last week, said
de Blasio this morning in his daily briefi ng
on Feb. 16.
De Blasio took this as proof that with
more vaccine supply, and using second
doses as he’s called for before, more people
could be reached.
“One of the key efforts is focusing on
communities that are still not seeing the
levels of vaccination we want to see,” said
According to the COVID-19 vaccine
tracker, by ZIP code, about 3% to 7% of
adults in the Oceanville-Brownsville, East
New York, and Cypress Hills neighborhoods
have been partially vaccinated so far,
while it’s 6% to 10% across Staten Island.
De Blasio said they want to focus particularly
on home health aides, setting up
vaccine clinics in independent living buildings,
reaching homebound seniors with
the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and doing
“grassroots” outreach to communities that
have been reluctant to get the vaccine or
didn’t have access to the vaccine.
“This is the kind of effort we need to get
down to the grassroots and get to folks who
need help the most,” said de Blasio. “We
believe in having as many vaccination sites
as possible, as deeply into communities as
possible. That’s how we fi ght disparity,
that’s how we address the horrible inequities
we’ve seen throughout this crisis.”
De Blasio credited the racial inclusion
taskforce, headed by the Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene First Deputy
Commissioner/ Chief Equity Offi cer Dr.
Torian Easterling, for refi ning efforts on
how to reach primarily Black and Brown
“The department has used a data driven
public health model to push against disparities.
We monitor data about testing
and positivity, but we also track data on
poverty, health insurance, and housing
conditions because all of these factors fuel
the wide health disparities that we have
seen before,” said Easterling.
Easterling said that he’s been vaccinated
with his fi rst dose at Canarsie’s vaccine site.
Some of the pointed questions and fears
he has encountered are about the vaccine’s
credibility, effect on fertility for men and
women, and how quickly it was developed
for mass production in recent public forums.
“We have been very clear that there is no
evidence that the science does not support
any fertility concerns,” said Easterling.
“There have been no shortcuts, it’s safe.”
The main concern, said Easterling, is
how vaccines are brought into the community.
He said that getting out front of
misinformation is critical. Establishing sites
within the community as well as outreach,
like working with Tenant Association Presidents
at New York City Housing Authority
(NYCHA) developments, is necessary to
PHOTO BY DEAN MOSES
A Nurse administers a vaccine at God’s Battalion of Prayer Church.
THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 CLASS
OF NYC WOMEN OF IMPACT
The American Heart Association’s Women of
Impact Campaign brings together passionate
groups of women across the nation, dedicated to
improving the state of women’s health by raising
awareness and funds for Go Red for Women®.
Reena Gupte Joshi
AHA Volunteer &
AHA Volunteer &
Marketer & 2020
NYC Go Red
AHA Volunteer &
2018 NYC Go Red
12 February 18, 2021 Schneps Media