Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

COVID-19 vaccination efforts ramp up with the help of volunteers

Denise Young

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that just over 1.5 million New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a second dose.

Cuomo said that the state is “working hard to keep up that momentum and get shots in arms of the entire eligible population, with special attention to Black, Hispanic and poor communities that have been among the hardest hit by COVID.”

He said the state has already seen a 70% increase in vaccine supply from the federal government and hopes that number will continue to increase.

New York’s vaccine tracker shows that 15.2% of the population in Monroe County have had at least one vaccine dose.

On Saturday, a number of organizations in Rochester mobilized to help gat as many Black and Latino residents as possible vaccinated at Rochester’s new Kodak Hawkeye vaccine site on St. Paul Street. That FEMA and state-run facility opens on March 3, and expects to deliver 28,000 vaccines in March.

Now until Wednesday, March 3, all of those appointments are reserved for residents from ZIP codes 14603, 14604, 14605, 14606, 14608, 14609, 14611, 14613, 14614, 14615, 14619, 14621, areas that have high concentrations of people of color. After March 3, appointments will be opened for more ZIP codes. Appointments can be booked through New York’s “Am I Eligible” website, by calling 311 or the New York COVID Hotline at: 1-833-697-4829.

“Communities of color and other residents from disadvantaged neighborhoods do not have the tools, time and transportation needed to navigate the vaccine systems that have been created,” said Wade Norwood, co-chair of the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force and CEO of Common Ground Health.

“We are so grateful to receive these additional doses in our community and for them to be available to our most hard-hit communities,” said Dr. Nana Bennett, co-chair of the task force. “We must continue these, and many other, extraordinary efforts to ensure equity in vaccine distribution.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.