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Neighborhood-based clinics aim to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccine

Max Schulte

County and city officials have announced a partnership that will help vaccinate underserved residents. 

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said these vaccine clinics will be placed in each of the city’s four quadrants starting April 8. He said these small clinics will be strategically placed in neighborhood institutions that reach their targeted populations, including churches and refugee housing.

The goal is to make vaccines available to those who have limited access.

“At the end of this pandemic, we must be able to say confidently that we did everything within our power to ensure everyone in our community has had equal access to getting this life-saving vaccine,” said Bello. 

This news comes just as Dr. Michael Mendoza, the county’s public health commissioner, said COVID-19 cases are rising. 

The county’s positivity rate on Thursday was 2.2% with 205 new cases. 

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Mendoza said senior citizens make up only 13% of the new positive cases, which he attributed to the efficacy of the vaccines, while residents who 30 or younger make up 42%. 

He blames two factors -- new variants and COVID fatigue -- but he said he remains hopeful for the future.

“I believe we can again rise to the occasion, as long as we get our vaccine as soon as we can,” Mendoza said, “and as long as we wear our masks, observe physical distancing, and remain thoughtful about our gatherings.”

With the help of the neighborhood clinics and warmer weather, officials anticipate some relief.

For more information on the clinics, including dates and locations, go to

Appointments can be made starting Friday and will be available on the Monroe County website,, or through the United Way of Greater Rochester, Ibero-American Action League, Lifespan, Person Centered Housing Strategies, Refugees Helping Refugees, and Community Health Worker Association.