ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester will soon have a new mass COVID-19 vaccination site, and a pop-up vaccination clinic within the city limits.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that a mass vaccination site is scheduled to be operational in Rochester beginning March 3 at the former Kodak Hawkeye parking lot on St. Paul and Avenue E. The governor said this site will be able to administer approximately 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per day, and is possible because of a state-federal partnership.
This new mass vaccination site in Rochester was one of many planned for areas throughout Upstate New York beginning in the first week of March.
“Each site will do 1,000 per day, 7,000 a week,” Gov. Cuomo said. “They start on March 3, they get an allocation from the federal government. They’re jointly run between the state and local government, and we’re going to use National Guard personnel to help us do that.”
The mass vaccination site will be only for City of Rochester residents at first. Additional details and registration instruction will be provided in the coming days, according to an Empire State Development official.
Additionally, there will be a community pop-up vaccination clinic organized in Rochester, one of 13 new community-based pop-up clinics in New York state. Collectively, these pop-ups are scheduled to come online this week and provide first doses of the vaccine to 3,850 New Yorkers.
Rochester’s pop-up clinic:
Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center
485 N. Clinton Avenue Rochester, NY
Opens Saturday, February 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Officials from the governors office say that vaccine appointments at the pop-up clinic are to be scheduled “directly with the host site or partner provider who work with community organizations and community leaders to identify New Yorkers from that specific community who are eligible to obtain a vaccination.”
“COVID impacted communities of color at much higher rate, and it exposed the inequalities that have existed in our nation’s health care system for decades,” Gov. Cuomo said Wednesday. “From day one we have made the fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine a top priority, but two issues still exist, especially in our Black and Brown communities – accessibility and skepticism. These pop-up sites allow us to work with the local leaders and trusted voices in those communities that were hit the hardest by COVID, helping to ensure access to and instill confidence in the vaccine, while also furthering our goal to vaccinate every single New Yorker.”
Officials from the governor’s office say since January 15, more than 90 community-based pop-up sites statewide have enabled approximately 42,500 New Yorkers to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. As has been the case with previous pop-up sites, these sites will be re-established in three weeks to administer second doses, officials say.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren released a statement on the city’s new mass vaccination clinic Wednesday:
“Today’s news that a mass vaccination site will be located in northeast Rochester is good news and welcome progress. As the community knows, my mother passed from COVID-19 after contracting the virus in the hospital while being treated for a heart condition. Her passing in this manner still bothers me and my family, and fuels my desire to make sure that everyone that wants access to the vaccine has a fair and equal opportunity to do so. Despite today’s announcement, this is still not the case in Rochester.
The data shows that people of color are dying disproportionally from this virus and thus we must make getting them the vaccine a priority. No other family should have to endure the suffering my family, or over 1,000 other local families have suffered, because they don’t have the access or connections to obtain the vaccine.
We have received hundreds of calls from seniors who are terrified because they don’t know how, or can’t make, an appointment to get the vaccine. We can and must act to help them. Also, the recently release demographic data by the State shows that our community is failing by a wide margin to vaccinate our Black and Brown residents that are eligible for the vaccine.
Armed with this data, we can determine how much of the vaccine distributions from the State to Rochester and Monroe County must be dedicated to vaccinating Black and Brown residents to achieve equity. This week in Rochester only 200 doses of COVID vaccine are being dedicated to a single vaccination “pop-up” dedicated to serving this population. Simply put, not enough vaccine is being dedicated to this effort. I hope today’s news will change that.
We must combine accurate and timely demographic data on vaccinations with a vaccine distribution formula dedicated to equity to ensure we fairly protect all Rochesterians. Further, our city government must be empowered to work directly with health care providers to arrange and host distribution sites at locations determined by my administration to facilitate accessible access to the COVID vaccines. I look forward to working with the State and County to ensure this happens.”