FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 18, 2021 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
Acts of Kindness Send your Acts of Kindness to email@example.com
Commonpoint Queens helps seniors navigate vaccine process
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Following the COVID-19 vaccine rollout,
a community center in Little Neck
has been working to ensure local seniors
have access to all the resources needed to
educate them and make appointments.
Commonpoint Queens recognized the
ongoing vaccine distribution issue across
the city, especially for residents of northeast
Queens, who oft en had to travel
outside of their communities prior
to Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement
regarding temporary vaccination
Over the past month, the nonprofi t
monitored city and state websites, called
Queens-based medical centers and
reached out to lawmakers and community
partners to fi nd a solution for the 3,000
older adults they serve.
“We have held vaccine education workshops.
We sit on the phone together and
walk them through the appointment process.
We schedule car service transportation
for appointments. We have even met
some of them at the location to ensure
all goes smoothly,” said Danielle Ellman,
CEO of Commonpoint Queens.
Ellman added that last week alone, the
nonprofi t helped 200 older adults to navigate
the appointment process and scheduled
over 150 appointments for fi rst doses.
“One of the clients we helped is 107
years old and thanked us profusely, telling
us that he would not have been able
to access the vaccine without us,” she said.
On Feb. 8, elected offi cials and advocates
rallied at Commonpoint to demand
vaccine sites for northeast Queens, just
days before Cuomo announced a pop-up
vaccination site at Korean Community
Services (KCS) in Bayside. Mayor de
Blasio also announced the opening of
Citi Field as a mass vaccination site for
Queens residents, although its opening
day brought much confusion to residents
seeking their fi rst doses.
Despite these advances, there are still
no permanent vaccine sites for northeast
Queens seniors, and those at Monday’s
rally addressed the desperate need for the
city and state to open accessible locations.
“We understand the vaccine shortage
has created logistical hurdles, but we cannot
leave any communities behind when
supply is eventually replenished and distributed,”
said Assemblywoman Nily
Rozic at the rally. “Th e expectation that
seniors must travel long distances for the
chance of immunization is unacceptable.”
Danielle Hersch, Commonpoint
Queens’ chief strategy offi cer said that
the nonprofi t will continue to be there for
the senior community and their “evolving
needs,” including scheduling vaccination
appointments and other essential services.
“We have seniors who are waiting on
the phone for an hour and getting disconnected,
competing for limited slots
amongst each other, and are struggling
to navigate a complicated system. We just
want to help them see their family members
and resume their pre-pandemic lives,
and they’re so appreciative of us for helping
them,” Hersch said.
Older adults in need of help navigating
the vaccine scheduling process can visit
call 718-225-6750 extension 238.
Courtesy of Commonpoint Queens
Danielle Ellman, Commonpoint Queens CEO
Apply for a Seat
on a New York City
GET SAFE AND
Apply today for the City's
Construction Site Safety
You pick the training
provider and cover upfront
costs; we'll reimburse
you for up to 100% of the
Learn more and apply: