Vaccination sites open amid distribution concerns

Jaime DeJesus

January 12, 2021

Originally published in Brooklyn Reporter on January 12, 2021.

As the rollout for the COVID-19 vaccination begins, the New York City Department of Health has released a Vaccine Finder.

Vaccinations are now being given to Phase 1a and initial groups in Phase 1b, which includes individuals age 65 and older, hospital personnel, police officers, teachers and others.

As of Jan. 11, South Brooklyn has a handful of vaccination spots, including the mass site at Brooklyn Army Terminal; Metro True Care Medical Urgent Care at 8686 Bay Parkway; Ezra Medical Center for Women’s Health Community Health Center/Clinic at 1278 60th Street; Costco Pharmacy at 976 Third Ave.; and Abraham Lincoln High School.

“Vaccines will be administered at Lincoln starting Jan. 16,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger. “Do not worry if you don’t immediately see available slots because I’m told they aren’t allowing folks to schedule too far ahead due to availability of vaccine supply.”

Treyger also said more days and slots will be added at Lincoln and that the site will be updated and refreshed daily.

Some neighborhoods, however, do not have any sites. State Senator Andrew Gounardes says sites are required in ZIP codes 11209, 11234, 11204, 11223, 11228, 11229 and 11425.

“No community can be left out or left behind,” Gounardes said. “We have had months to prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine coming and there can be no excuses – only action – to ensure we are using our full federal allotment every single day. In communities like southern Brooklyn with a high population of senior citizens, it’s critically important that we have sufficient vaccination sites. We are in a race against time and our communities need access to the COVID vaccine now.”

Gounardes also said there have been many reports of eligible New Yorkers being unable to make an appointment or even get someone on the phone.

Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted that wait times would be long due to high demand, particularly for those who use the phone instead of the internet.

“Anyone who’s calling that number, obviously you’re going to have some times when you may have to wait,” de Blasio said. “We’re asking people to be patient, because there’s going to be an immense amount of demand. We’ll keep adding capacity, but recognize that the first days there’s going to be a lot of demand.

De Blasio said 55,000 appointments are already booked for this week through Saturday, Jan. 16