FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 1, 2021 • THE QUEENS COURIER 17
Meng gets vaccinated at new Bayside hub
BY DEAN MOSES
Congresswoman Grace Meng received
her fi rst dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
aft er postponing her shot until the community
Photo by Dean Moses
Congresswoman Grace Meng
receives her fi rst shot of the
Pfi zer vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to expand to all New Yorkers by April 6
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Every adult in the Empire State, regardless
of condition, can get the COVID-19
vaccine next month, Governor Andrew
Cuomo announced Monday.
Beginning on April 6, New Yorkers who
haven’t yet received a dose may make
appointments for one through city and
state vaccine hubs, as well as local health
care providers. Since the vaccine debuted
publicly on Dec. 14, 2020, there had been
limits on who could get the dose — with
essential health care workers and nursing
care staff /residents getting fi rst priority.
“Today we take a monumental step
forward in the fi ght to beat COVID.
Beginning March 30, all New Yorkers age
30 or older will be able to be vaccinated,
and all New Yorkers age 16 or older will be
eligible on April 6, well ahead of the May 1
deadline set by the White House,”Cuomo
said in a March 29 statement. “As we
continue to expand eligibility, New York
will double down on making the vaccine
accessible for every community to ensureequity,
particularly for communities of
color who are too oft en left behind. We
can see the light at the end of the tunnel,
but until we get there it is more important
than ever for each and every New Yorker
to wear a mask, socially distance and follow
all safety guidelines.”
In the months that followed, the state
opened up eligibility to include additional
essential workers, seniors aged 60 and
over, and any New Yorker with a preexisting
condition such as heart disease,
obesity, cancer, diabetes or hypertension.
As of April 6, any New Yorker over 16
years of age will be able to get the vaccine.
Th ere are currently three versions of the
COVID-19 vaccine in use: the two-shot
Pfi zer and Moderna methods, and the
one-dose Johnson & Johnson inoculation.
Cuomo’s announcement follows a mandate
from President Biden that all states
make the COVID-19 vaccine eligible to all
residents by no later than May 1 of this year.
she represents had equal access to
the lifesaving needle.
Just before 10 a.m. on Monday morning,
Congresswoman Grace Meng arrived at
the Korean Community Services Center
(KCS) in Bayside. Th is newly minted
facility opened last week aft er Meng had
been advocating for a vaccine site in the
district, citing diffi culty for many residents
to travel outside of the area. Now
that the site, located on 203-05 32nd
Ave., has opened to the public, Meng
received her fi rst dose of the Pfi zer vaccine
on March 29.
It took a matter of seconds for
EMS personnel Anthony Ivanditto to
administer the shot. Meng was visibly
surprised and impressed by
how quick, painless and effi cient
the process was, commenting
“I didn’t feel anything” as the
needle was removed. Meng
was granted her very own
card as proof of the vaccination
before rushing to another
room where she engaged
in a video call with Mayor
Bill de Blasio as he held his
daily briefi ng. Here the Congresswoman
discussed the process via the other end of
a laptop, beginning by proudly showcasing
her vaccine card.
“I just got my fi rst vaccine, my fi rst
shot in the arm at the KCS in northeast
Queens. It was easy. It was painless, but
I’m going to be honest, I was a little nervous
before I went in, but I literally felt
nothing. People should feel very comfortable
with taking the vaccine,” Meng
said to the mayor.
She emphasized the importance
of receiving the vaccine as not just
a protection for herself,
but those around her.
While any visit to a
doctor may incur a level of foreboding
and uneasiness, Meng assured all those
who listened to her call with the mayor
that it was quick and easy.
“I just really want to urge all New
Yorkers and all Americans to get the vaccine
as soon as it is your turn and you are
eligible. Th e end of the coronavirus is in
sight and we will soon hopefully
be seeing a return to normalcy
here in northeast Queens,”
Meng represents the sixth
Auburndale, Bayside, Elmhurst, Flushing,
Forest Hills, Glendale, Kew Gardens,
Maspeth, Middle Village, Murray Hill and
Rego Park. For quite some time, Meng
has been working with elected offi cials
to create vaccine equity for Queens residents
who may have a hard time traveling
to distant sites, such as the elderly or disabled.
Meng wanted to ensure that when
installing a hub in the community, that it
was a location where people felt comfortable
“We’ve been working with our local
elected offi cials on the city and state level
to ask for a major site in northeast Queens
and other parts of Queens for many
months now. Northeast Queens, as you
know, is a transportation desert. People
cannot necessarily easily take a bus or
subway to get vaccinated. Th ere are also a
high number of senior citizens who need
a site that is close to them,” Meng said.
Aft er the conference call, Meng spoke
with Schneps Media regarding her relief
and gratitude for fi nally being able to
receive her vaccine in Bayside.
“Our community has been advocating
for many months. I could
have had the vaccine a few months
ago back in January, but I really
wanted to be able to wait with my
constituents and with my neighbors
and that when it was available
for them, I would feel comfortable
getting it,” Meng said.
Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters
A man arrives to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside Citi Field in February 2021.