Vaccine For All: Mayor de Blasio, Taskforce Expand Equity Effort

Published on January 31, 2021, 9:52 pm
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Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity today announced the next phase of its Vaccine for All effort and released demographic information of vaccine recipients.

With an expanded list of 33 neighborhoods identified by the Taskforce, the City will use this data to broaden its outreach and education to address vaccine hesitancy, prioritize appointments, add new vaccine sites, and improve the scheduling website to ensure the pace of vaccination is consistent throughout the city.

“We launched our vaccine effort with a clear commitment to provide a vaccine for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now we are going even further to ensure the vaccine reaches everyone, equally, with a focus on the neighborhoods we know have borne the brunt of CoViD-19.”

“Ensuring equity among our communities is central to our city’s recovery efforts. We want all of our communities to trust the vaccine’s efficacy and have access to it,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “As distribution expands, we will continue gathering more data and processing what we have learned over the past year so that our hardest hit neighborhoods are fully supported and included in the plan.”

Equitable distribution of the vaccine has been the driving force of the City’s Vaccine for All effort. The majority of City vaccination sites are already located in the 33 Taskforce neighborhoods, as well as other, soon-to-open hubs, like Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. The City has also mounted an extensive outreach campaign, holding informational and educational events for residents, providers, partners, and elected officials in Task Force neighborhoods and other areas across the city. With the assistance of trusted community partners, the City has distributed tens of thousands of pieces of literature to spread the word of a safe and effective vaccine to residents in priority neighborhoods and held training events so community partners can support navigation of vaccination services. The City will also continue to hold regular community conversations to address vaccine hesitancy and elevate community feedback on vaccination rollout and access.

To deepen this work, City will now prioritize appointments for residents at vaccine sites in the Taskforce neighborhoods, setting aside specific hours and slots. For eligible essential workers in the Taskforce neighborhoods, the City will create ‘family plans’ – allowing the workers to schedule appointments for eligible family members on-site. To improve accessibility, the City’s appointment scheduling site will now be available in a total of 11 languages, including English, Arabic, Urdu, Bengali, French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese.

Building on the initial list of 27 neighborhoods, the Taskforce has broadened its criteria and expanded to a total of 33 neighborhoods, now including Williamsbridge and Baychester, Midwood, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst, Kew Gardens and Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and South Ozone, and Queens Village. These neighborhoods were added based on a range of factors including high CoViD-19 mortality and case rates, high prevalence of chronic illness, presence of overcrowded housing, the number of individuals experiencing poverty, and other preexisting health disparities.

To address the key drivers of vaccine hesitancy, the NYC Vaccine for All campaign will build on its previous work and launch a “Vaccine Facts” campaign (or “Vax Facts”) in February to address the key drivers of vaccine hesitancy across broadcast, digital, and print platforms, including local and ethnic media. The City will also partner with local leaders for tailored community engagement and host days of action, deploying census-style outreach campaign to build trust and distribution vaccine FAQs in the 33 neighborhoods.

The full list of 33 Neighborhoods identified by the Taskforce is below.

Task Force Neighborhoods

NeighborhoodsBoroughZIP Codes (modZCTAs)
Lower East Side & ChinatownManhattan10002, 10003, 10009, 10013
Morningside Heights & Hamilton HeightsManhattan10025, 10027, 10031, 10032
Central HarlemManhattan10026, 10027, 10030, 10037, 10039
East HarlemManhattan10029, 10035
Washington Heights and InwoodManhattan10032, 10033, 10034, 10040
Mott Haven & MelroseBronx10451, 10454, 10455, 10456
Hunts Point & LongwoodBronx10455, 10459, 10474
Morrisania & CrotonaBronx10456, 10459, 10460
Highbridge & ConcourseBronx10452
Fordham & University HeightsBronx10453, 10458
Belmont & East TremontBronx10457, 10458
KingsbridgeBronx10463, 10468
Parkchester & SoundviewBronx10472, 10473
Williamsbridge & Baychester, EdenwaldBronx10466, 10467, 10468
Bedford StuyvesantBrooklyn11205, 11206, 11216, 11221, 11233, 11238
BushwickBrooklyn11206, 11207, 11221, 11237
East New York & Starrett CityBrooklyn11207, 11208, 11239
Sunset ParkBrooklyn11220, 11232
Coney IslandBrooklyn11224, 11235
Flatbush & MidwoodBrooklyn11226
BrownsvilleBrooklyn11212, 11233
East FlatbushBrooklyn11203, 11226
Flatlands & CanarsieBrooklyn11236
Queensbridge & AstoriaQueens11101
Jackson HeightsQueens11368, 11369
Elmhurst & CoronaQueens11368
Briarwood, Flushing SouthQueens11435
Kew Gardens & WoodhavenQueens11419, 11421
Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Ozone ParkQueens11419, 11420
Jamaica & HollisQueens11412, 11423, 11432, 11433, 11434, 11435, 11436
Queens VillageQueens11429
Rockaway & Broad ChannelQueens11691, 11692, 11693, 11694
St. George, Stapleton, Port RichmondStaten Island10301, 10303, 10304, 10310

“Equitable vaccine distribution, especially to neighborhoods most impacted by CoViD and long histories of racism, must be front and center if we are to achieve a full and fair recovery for our City, said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and Task Force Co-Chair Melanie Hartzog. “Our Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity is making sure our efforts are focused on reaching these communities most in need, addressing hesitancy, building trust, and expanding access so all New Yorkers feel safe and informed getting their shots — which will make our whole city safer.” 

“Data is the lifeblood of our response and identifying where vaccine uptake is lower will help us adapt to ensure an equitable distribution,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. “We need all New Yorkers to know that this vaccine is safe and effective, and we are working hard every day to ensure we have the supply to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible.”

“Transparency promotes trust and we have a lot of work to do to build confidence with the city’s communities,” said First Deputy Health Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Torian Easterling. “This public health emergency has highlighted the systemic racism that’s entrenched in our nation’s policies and practices, and we are determined to make sure that this does not happen in the campaign to vaccinate New Yorkers.”

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