State launches campaign to get shots in arms, opens Queens pop-up center


This picture taken on November 17, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading “Vaccine Covid-19. (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

QUEENS — The state is rolling out its “Roll Up Your Sleeve” campaign, set to launch Wednesday.

The ads encourage all New Yorkers, particularly those from neighborhoods devastated by COVID-19, to get vaccinated.

Congressman Gregory Meeks represents the 5th District in Queens. 

“Yes, there’s been a trust factor for the African American community,” said Meeks. “The way you destroy the doubt is with facts and accessibility.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo — himself a Jamaica, Queens native — was at Rochdale Village Monday morning. The ballroom of the Community Center will open as a pop-up vaccination site, becoming one of 189 neighborhood-based sites with the goal to bring vaccine directly to communities. 

The state needs all the locations it can open. Vaccine eligibility expands to all New Yorkers 16 and older beginning Tuesday.

Cuomo says 4 million New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated — but we haven’t won the war against COVID-19 yet. 

“It’s up to you to show up and roll up your sleeve and do your duty as a citizen of New York; we have an opportunity now to crush COVID,” said Cuomo. 

While New York and New Jersey rates have been flat in terms of coronavirus indicators, nationwide, COVID deaths are on the rise in at least 18 states — and the Easter weekend saw the greatest number of travelers in a year. 

There are concerns of a looming fourth surge. Researchers are also looking closely at a new variant with two mutations, also known as the double mutant strain. The dangerous strain has been confirmed in a case out of California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also seeing more cases in younger adults, who are less likely to be vaccinated. They are attributing the cases to highly contagious variants.

“Trends in data have been indicating cases are increasing nationally and we are seeing this occur predominantly in younger adults,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. 

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