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New York State announces expanded deployment of community COVID-19 vaccination kits

Cuomo says New York is expanding its deployment of community vaccination kits across the state to strengthen fairness, equity in the vaccine distribution process.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — To further strengthen fairness and equity in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that New York is expanding its deployment of community vaccination kits across the state.

Following the state's success last week of sending deployment kits to five NYCHA senior housing developments, as well as eight churches and cultural centers, kits are now being redeployed to four additional NYCHA sites and eight other churches, including one here in Western New York. 

The governor's office says last week nearly 4,200 seniors and eligible New Yorkers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from this effort.

Now the governor's office expects an additional 3,000 seniors and eligible New Yorkers will be given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week across the state under this initiative. 

Similar to last weekend's pop-up sites, these vaccination sites will be re-established in three weeks to administer second doses.

One of the sites will be established at a local church in the Queen City. The governor's office says St. John Baptist Church located at 184 Goodell Street in Buffalo will be giving some vaccinations in partnership with the Community Health Center of Buffalo and the Erie County Medical Center.

St. John Baptist Church says they have a very limited supply of vaccines, which will all be given by appointment only. According to the church all appointments scheduled to happen Monday have been filled.

"COVID has created a different dynamic in this country. I call it low tide in America," Governor Cuomo said. "If you go to the amazing Shirley Chisholm Park and look at the bay during high tide, it looks beautiful, but if you go at low tide, you can see all the ugliness on the bottom.

"That's what we've seen over this past year during America's low tide - the racism, the discrimination, the inequality, and COVID has only exacerbated that problem. The undeniable fact is that COVID has killed the Black and Latino communities at a higher rate than the white community. There is no getting around that and its why New York has made ensuring fairness and equity in the vaccine distribution such a priority.

"I understand there is a level of skepticism about the vaccine given how it was managed by the previous administration, but that's why New York did its own review. It's safe, it's effective, and it's the weapon that will win the war, but we will only be successful if everyone is on board."

The governor's office added that following this weekend's deployments and the federal vaccine supply, New York State will continue this initiative, creating pop-up sites at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments, other public housing complexes, and at 300 churches and cultural centers across the state.