Feds to fund over 100 new COVID-19 vaccine sites in New York: Schumer

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New York will get a coronavirus “vaccine supercharge” with more than 100 new federally-funded inoculation locations across the state, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday.

“There’s going to be more vaccines and better access to vaccine sites and it’s on the way via this supercharged effort that will utilize New York’s community health centers as federally-funded vaccine sites,” Schumer said during a virtual appearance at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s City Hall press briefing.

“There are going to be more than a hundred new vaccine sites set up across New York and a big administration of the shot supply, they will coordinate with the city,” Schumer said, adding, “More access, more shots, a quicker recovery — that’s what we want.”

Funding for the new sites at existing community health centers across the Empire State will come from the nearly $32 billion secured for vaccine distribution, procurement and administration in the new COVID-19 relief bill, Schumer said.

All of the state’s community health centers are eligible to become vaccine sites but must elect to participate in the program and receive shots from New York’s community health center parent organizations, which will determine which sites get vaccines.

The new sites are slated to open within six weeks.

Community health centers provide care for one in nine New Yorkers at more than 800 locations across the state.

Of those New Yorkers, 89 percent are low-income and 71 percent are people of color, according to Schumer’s office, which called the initiative the “largest effort to date to address the problem of slow vaccine distribution in minority communities.”

“One of the biggest issues with getting people vaccinated has been access, especially in underserved and disadvantaged communities, communities of color, and they’re going to get special, special attention,” Schumer said.

De Blasio called the news “breathtaking.”

“We are going to get even more vaccine because lord knows we need it,” the mayor said.

He said the Big Apple’s current vaccine allotment is between 150,000 and 200,000 doses “short of what we need right now.”

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