On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assembly Member Kenny Burgos, and Deputy Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden visited a municipal worker site in Hunts Point, operated by SOMOS Community Care, and the City of New York for a public vaccination event, urging trust and participation in the vaccine roll-out.
SOMOS Chairman Dr. Ramon Tallaj and doctors of SOMOS Community Care toured Bronx Borough President Diaz, Jr., Assembly Member Burgos, and Deputy Borough President Scott-McFadden around the site, which has been critical to vaccinating frontline essential workers, daycare workers, firefighters, and police and correction officers, among others. Following the walkthrough, SOMOS doctors administered a CoViD-19 vaccine to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assembly Member Kenny Burgos, and Deputy Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden before convening outside to discuss overcoming vaccine hesitancy and inspiring confidence in low-income, communities of color that have been long marginalized by traditional healthcare systems and historically subjected to medical abuse.
“The key to vaccine equity is local leadership and empowering local solutions like the family doctors who treat the same communities of which they themselves are a part. It is therefore an honor for SOMOS doctors to vaccinate elected officials like Borough President Diaz, Jr., Assembly Member Burgos, and Deputy Borough President Scott-McFadden and demonstrate to our communities that the Vaccine of Hope is here and the Vaccine of Hope is safe,” said Dr. Ramon Tallaj, SOMOS Community Care Chairman. “By standing together against CoViD-19, as we have done with local officials, the City, and State, we can reach and vaccinate the low-income, immigrant communities of color that have been hit hard by this pandemic. And now, with SOMOS doctors ramping up to vaccinate our patients in our own neighborhood clinics – a first for the state of New York – we are ready to get the doses in arms we need to return students safely to schools, reopen businesses, and recover from this pandemic.”
“CoViD-19 exposed many injustices and health disparities that exist in our society, hitting our borough particularly hard,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “It is critical for the health of ourselves, our families and our fellow New Yorkers that we get the vaccine and work to beat the virus together. Today as I joined the millions of New Yorkers, including both of my parents and many of my loved ones, who have received the CoViD-19 vaccine, I am feeling hopeful and grateful to those who made this moment possible. I would like to thank Dr. Ramon Tallaj and the entire SOMOS team, New York City Health + Hospitals and all of our healthcare heroes that have selflessly worked to fight CoViD-19 and keep us safe; from early testing, to critical care and now administering vaccines across the city in areas that have often been underserved.”
“Although the CoViD-19 pandemic was a global crisis, it was a very painful, very personal disaster that ravaged communities of color like ours in the Bronx, and the vaccine is the most effective tool we have to fight this crisis and get back on our feet,” said Assembly Member Kenny Burgos. “Trust is earned, especially for Black and Brown communities like mine, so I was proud to join the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and my colleagues in receiving the CoViD-19 vaccine. Further, it was inspiring to witness the incredible, groundbreaking vaccination effort by the SOMOS Community Care team and their chairman, Dr. Ramon Tallaj.”