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Vaccine sign ups for Rochester FEMA site open on Wednesday

Max Schulte | WXXI News

As of Wednesday, Rochester residents in historically underserved areas can register for a vaccine at a FEMA site.

The FEMA site, at the Former Kodak Hawkeye Parking Lot on St. Paul Street, opens for vaccinations next Wednesday. It’s one of four locations across the state intended to reach people in areas with low vaccination rates.

Deborah Stamps with Rochester Regional Health says it’s especially important that Black and Hispanic residents sign up. 

African Americans in the Rochester area have endured four times the rate of infection of COVID-19 than whites, and more than twice as many COVID-19 related deaths, according to a report by ACT Rochester and The Community Foundation. For Latinos, the infection and hospitalization rates were more than double compared with white residents.

“We’ve seen the death rates, the mortality, be really high,” said Deborah Stamps, Rochester Regional Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Education and Diversity Officer. “We know the impact on our communities is huge.”

Stamps had COVID-19, and even though she’s recovered from it, she still has difficulty breathing at times.

“The pain was unbelievable, the respiratory issues. If we can avoid anyone going through that, that is what this is all about,” said Stamps.

Stamps said as she waited in line for her vaccine, she was worried and anxious. Anyone who may have concerns themselves about getting immunized, she said, should send a note to their doctor and talk about it with friends and family.

“I think sometimes we make ourselves worry more,” said Stamps. “If we get the vaccine today it’s a 94 to 95 percent chance of not contracting COVID. There’s not too many situations where you have those great odds. And if you do get it, those 4 to 6 percent, the symptoms can be very mild.”

Information from New York state on who is eligible and how to sign up are below:

Rochester FEMA COVID-19 vaccination site:

Former Kodak Hawkeye Parking Lot

1345 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY

Eligible Zip Codes: 14605, 14613, 14611, 14608, 14621, 14619, 14606, 14615, 14614, 14609, 14604, 14603

Eligible New Yorkers will be able to schedule appointments by utilizing New York's 'Am I Eligible' website or by calling the state's COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). 

Appointments can also be made by visiting the sites beginning when they open on Wednesday, March 3. For the first week of scheduling, appointments at the four sites are initially reserved specifically for New Yorkers currently eligible for vaccination living in areas with low vaccination rates. After one week, appointments at each site will then be made available to all residents of counties served by the site if they meet eligibility guidelines. 

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.
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