CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more on the community health organization helping to get the vaccines to the hardest-hit communities.READ MORE: Juneteenth Celebrations Across New York City Take On New Meaning In 2021
It’s not uncommon to have long lines at vaccination sites. But unlike others, the one at God’s Battalion of Prayer Church in Brooklyn reflects the diversity of the impacted community.
“I fellowship at this church. I’m also a senior citizen and it’s very convenient. It’s close, just two blocks away,” Brooklyn resident Corinne Sparman said.
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SOMOS Community Care is managing the site. Its doctors have established relationships within communities of color.
“We come from those countries. We understand their food, their customs, their fears and we’re able to speak it in their own language,” Dr. Jacqueline Delmont said.
It helps to build trust about the safety and need for the vaccine, especially since data shows Black and Latino communities are least likely to get it.
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Instead, others are traveling to these neighborhoods to get their shots.
That’s why the mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium will only be for Bronx residents.
SOMOS is managing that location, too.
“We need vaccines here, and the vaccine should be in the hands of the doctors in the community who know their patients, who know their people,” Dr. Ramon Tallaj said.READ MORE: Man Allegedly Armed With Taser, Large Knife Arrested At Washington Square Park
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It’s a way to break down barriers and save lives.
“It’s for our betterment. If you want to avoid getting COVID and dying from it, I think it’s a good thing,” Brooklyn resident Christine Joseph said.
Everyone who received the vaccine on Wednesday will return in three weeks. To keep it easy, they will keep their same appointment time and come to the same place to receive their second dose.
Meanwhile in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy says he also plans to get vaccines into the communities that need it the most.
“We will be working directly with our communities of faith to turn houses of worship and other community gathering places into vaccination centers for local residents, essentially, bringing the vaccines to them,” he said.
Just 5% of vaccine recipients in New Jersey are Hispanic or Latinx, and 3% are Black, even though 15% of the state’s population is Black.
“It has a lot to do with the history of systemic racism in the medical establishment,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark. “Unless you go out there and in particular have people of color who represent your institutions, healthcare providers, leaders, et cetera, you really start to open that door of trust and then you can start to debunk some of the myths and address concerns.”
Elnahal told CBS2’s Ali Bauman supply is still the biggest limitation.
Additionally, none of New Jersey’s vaccination sites are located in urban areas.
CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas and Ali Bauman contributed to this report.MORE NEWS: NYPD Detective Injured In 2017 Vehicular Attack Honored At Islanders Game
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