Sunset Park has been named as one of the 33 neighborhoods that have been included in the next Vaccine for All phase, which aims to help areas that have been impacted the most by COVID-19.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity announced on Sunday, Jan. 31 that the city will use this data to broaden its outreach and education to address vaccine hesitancy and prioritize appointments, and add new vaccine sites.
It will also 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 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.”
Sunset Park and Coney Island are two of nine Brooklyn neighborhoods identified by the Taskforce.
Melanie Hartzog, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services and Task Force, highlighted the significance of equitable vaccine distribution for neighborhoods most impacted by COVID and that have long histories of racism.
“Our Taskforce 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,” she said.
The neighborhoods added were selected because of 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 pre-existing health disparities.
“Data is the lifeblood of our response and identifying where vaccine uptake is lower will help us adapt to ensure an equitable distribution,” said NYC 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.”
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.