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Coronavirus NYC: 2 new COVID vaccine megasites target low-income city neighborhoods

ABC 7 New York logo ABC 7 New York 2 days ago Eyewitness News

For the most part, vaccine distribution is left up to each state. In New York, attention is turning to lower-income neighborhoods with high COVID rates.

That's why Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the new mass vaccination site at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights, which opens Wednesday.

Nationwide and in New York, African Americans have been getting vaccinated at lower rates than white people.

The state is also opening a vaccine center Wednesday at York College in Jamaica. Both new sites opening Wednesday are by appointment only for people living in those neighborhoods.

They aim to vaccinate up to 3,000 people a day at each location.

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The state will also partner with faith leaders in Brooklyn and Queens to launch a vaccination drive aimed at encouraging more members of the leaders' communities to sign up for vaccination appointments at these sites using phone banking.

Eligible New Yorkers can currently schedule appointments for the Brooklyn and Queens sites by utilizing New York's "Am I Eligible" website or by calling the state's COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

Appointments can also be made by visiting the sites beginning when they open on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo says it's time to find out just how many teachers have been vaccinated, so they can ramp up school reopenings and get more kids back in class.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is on board with that as well.

"We got a lot to do to bring back this school year as fully as possible. And then I want everyone I want every child to be ready to come back in September in person, as the aggressive approach I want us to take in New York City," de Blasio said.

The state of Connecticut is continuing its age-based approach to vaccinations, opening it up to anyone over the age of 55 next week.

By May 3, any Connecticut resident over 16 will be eligible to get the vaccine.

In addition, school staff and childcare providers will be eligible in March, many of whom are people of color. It's one way the state of Connecticut is trying to bridge the racial divide.

ALSO READ | Young women dress as 'grannies' in apparent attempt to get COVID-19 vaccine

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