by collive reporter
Vaccines for all… except for the residents of Crown Heights.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity announced the next phase of its “Vaccine for All” effort on Sunday.
They released a list that includes 33 neighborhoods in New York City which were identified as the hardest hit by the COVID virus, “based on equity burdens and the impact of COVID-19 in 2020,” they said.
De Blasio said the neighborhoods, divided by Zip Code, were 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 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.”
“Equitable distribution of the vaccine has been the driving force of the City’s Vaccine for All effort,” the Mayor said.
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, they said. 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.
Everywhere but Crown Heights, that is.
Looking at the list of neighborhoods included in the effort, the Crown Heights Zip Codes of 11213 and 11225 are not among them.
The Jewish neighborhoods of Boro Park and Williamsburg – publicly shamed not long ago by de Blasio for not adhering to COVID regulations – are also not among the list.
COLlive has contacted a number of local Crown Heights doctors and was told that not a single vaccine dose is available to senior and vulnerable residents.
All local doctors we have contacted said that they just don’t have any to distribute yet.
“This is an outrage,” one Jewish Crown Heights resident told COLlive. “Just a few short months ago, the Mayor and Governor were calling our neighborhoods the cause of many outbreaks due to high numbers here, and Boro Park was shut down as being a red zone, and yet when it comes to receiving vaccines, suddenly we are not included.”
Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries visited a housing development in East New York, near Crown Heights, to announce vaccine doses being given free to seniors in the neighborhood. More than 1,000 seniors received their first free doses of the coronavirus vaccine last weekend at four city public housing sites.
“Thousands of doses are being distributed in nearby neighborhoods, and not a single dose in Crown Heights,” said the resident. “This is blatant discrimination. If the Mayor claims that equitable distribution of the vaccine is the driving force of his efforts, how is this fair and equal?”
VIDEO: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries at a vaccine distribution in E. New York
The full list of 33 Neighborhoods identified by the Taskforce is below.