FEMA vaccination sites opening in Queens, Brooklyn in bid to close racial disparity


NEW YORK CITY — New York officials are facing COVID-19 vaccine issues on several fronts: a lack of supply from the federal government; frustration over unavailable appointments; and a glaring racial disparity in vaccinations.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a partnership with FEMA to open two new vaccination sites, each capable of administering 3,000 shots daily. And for the first time in the state, these sites will accept walk-in appointments.

Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Priority appointments will be given to residents of those boroughs. The state will provide public transportation to help people get to the vaccination sites.

Cuomo on Monday pleaded with Black and Brown New Yorkers to overcome what he called “vaccine hesitancy” and get the shot.

“There’s a lack of trust in the system by the Black community because the Black community has gotten the short end of the stick many, many times. We can go back to Tuskegee Airmen. They are right,” the governor said. “The top Black medical professionals in America say, ‘Trust the vaccine.’”

And with more than 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States, the race is still on to save lives.

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