On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Bed-Stuy’s Bethany Baptist Church with a clear message: “We now have a vaccine that will save lives, but it will only save lives if we take it.”
The visit was part of a push by Cuomo to get vaccination sites installed at churches, public housing complexes and other community sites in neighborhoods hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Starting Tuesday Jan. 26, Bethany Baptist Church will host a pop-up vaccination site.
Cuomo taped and delivered an address to the church — along with Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Rochester and The People’s AME Zion Church in Syracuse – on top of the visit, in which he said he was working hard to make the vaccine available to hardest hit communities of color.
“While the vaccine is scarce across the country, I am working as hard as I can to get it here for you,” he said. “The second issue is where I need your help. We all need to trust the vaccine.”
As part of the push for public confidence, Cuomo talked about how the vaccine was reviewed by the best doctors and hospitals in New York State and assured residents it was safe.
“My mother, who is 65 plus, will take it. I have my daughters, who I love more than life itself, they will take it when they are eligible. And I will take it also. You should take it too,” he said.
On Saturday, Cuomo announced community vaccination kits will be deployed to eight additional New York churches to “further strengthen fairness and equity in the vaccine distribution process.”
Last weekend, the state piloted the deployment kits to five NYCHA senior housing developments and eight churches and cultural centers where nearly 4,200 seniors and eligible New Yorkers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
All pop-up sites, including the one at Bethany Baptist Church, will be re-established in three weeks to administer second doses.
Cuomo said following this weekend’s deployments and as the federal vaccine supply increases, New York will continue to be deploy these kits until pop-up sites have been established at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments, which house more than 7,600 seniors.
Pop-up locations will also be established at other public housing complexes statewide, as well as at more than 300 churches and cultural centers which have volunteered to house these sites through the governor’s Vaccine Equity Task Force.
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