By Jamie Bufalino
In an effort to make sure communities of color have equal access to Covid-19 vaccinations, New York State and Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long will open a pop-up vaccination site at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton on Friday.
"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. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement on Wednesday announcing 13 pop-up sites across the state. The Most Holy Trinity site is the only one on Long Island.
Minerva Perez, the executive director of OLA and a member of New York State's vaccine equity task force, said the state is providing OLA with 250 vaccine doses, and "as soon as I knew we would have the vaccines, we did a massive outreach." The group contacted some of the most vulnerable members of the local Latino, Black, and Asian communities, including the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and restaurant and grocery store workers, she said. The site will be re-established in three weeks to provide a second doses to those who received their first shots there.
Ms. Perez also reached out to the Rev. Ryan Creamer of Most Holy Trinity, who offered the use of the church. A medical team from Stony Brook Medicine will administer the vaccines on Friday, and although only people who have been contacted will be able to get vaccinated, Ms. Perez said those seeking information about future opportunities should text their names and eligibility status to 844-795-0043.
As the vaccine supply increases, the state will continue to open more community sites, Gov. Cuomo said.