ASTORIA, Queens (PIX11) — Those looking to get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 now have another free option in New York City. On-the-go cargo containers have been converted into clinics in Queens.
The 40-foot-long repurposed shipping containers are smack in the middle of the Astoria Houses. U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York said these containers are usually deployed to areas of surging disease outbreaks and natural disasters. Maloney said rising coronavirus infections is an emergency.
“I believe these cargo units will be phase of the future and how we respond to emergencies and this is an emergency a covid crisis,” said Maloney.
Maloney gave PIX11 News an exclusive look Wednesday afternoon. It’s a project she said took over a year of planning to make happen. It’s a collaboration between Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, The Tuchman Foundation and NYCHA.
Claudia Coger is the tenant president and said there is a sense of excitement and relief that the neighborhood is getting a mobile clinic this week. “We are not just putting the building here but the knowledge out to the people to let them know the benefits of vaccinations,” said Coger.
Right now, Maloney said there is only one permanent COVID-19 vaccination site within half a mile of the Astoria Houses. Maloney said this is much more than just about convenience, but it will also save lives.
There is already a permanent floating hospital site at the Queensbridge Houses. Maloney said the Ravenswood Houses is next to get these cargo COVID-19 clinics. Her goal is to have one at every NYCHA development across her district.