City Councilmember Mark Levine probed social media users for input on the ideal location of a Manhattan mass vaccination site dedicated to locals.
With Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx all receiving their very own dedicated COVID-19 mass vaccination hubs, Councilmember Mark Levine reached out to his constituents via Twitter on Feb. 22 to inquire where they would like to see a new mass inoculation site located, dedicated solely to Manhattanites by providing a survey link to share their answers.
“4 of NYC’s 5 boros now have mass vax sites just for their residents (this is great!) Manhattan needs a mass vax site for its residents, too. Somewhere big with great transit. e.g. Madison Sq Garden. Let’s make this happen ASAP,” Levine wrote in his tweet.
While many may say that Manhattan already has a dedicated mass vaccination site, the Jacob Javits Convention Center is actually open to all of New York State and not just locals. Following this internet proposal, amNewYork Metro spoke with Council Member Levine regarding his hopes this method of crowdsourcing would achieve and how it will help in the creation of vaccine equity.
Levine shared that the creation of vaccination sites works best when it is a placed within the confines of well-known buildings New Yorkers are easily able to access.
“It will have to be a location that will work for Manhattanites,” Levine said, sharing that locals know the borough inside and out, and hopes to find a location that has accessible mass transit. “There has been a long list of suggestions by people that I’m going to pass on to city and state officials in hopes that they can make this happen as soon as possible,” Levine said, describing how he will take the answers provided in his survey and disseminate them to leaders to take under consideration.
Levine is amazed by the mass vaccination sites in the outer boroughs, such as Yankee Stadium, Aqueduct, Citi Field, Medgar Evers, and Queens College, which all concentrate on residents within those locations, and it is with his in mind he believes Manhattan should be afforded a similar opportunity. “If you are a worker who delivers door to door in Washington Heights, there is no site anywhere in the city where you have any kind of preferred access. It’s very hard for folks in many parts of Manhattan to access appointments,” Levine said.
He also underscored that there are many below the age of 65 who are essential workers and with underlying conditions falling through the cracks since there are just too few appointment options and they are extremely difficult to obtain.
“I totally support these new mass vaccination sites in the outer boroughs because they are serving places that have been under vaccinated so far,” Levine said, adding, “We are now at the point where there are people in Manhattan who are getting left behind. This is particularly acute in parts of Uptown where again, whole categories of essential workers, and these are predominantly African American and Latino neighborhoods are getting left behind. We absolutely need a site in Manhattan for the people of the borough.”
Levine also suggests that to create more vaccine equity, each site should have reservation blocks dedicated to appointments for people in underserved neighborhoods while also still having appointments available to the general public.
“You could do both if you had a large site with capacity to do that,” Levine said.
If you would like to share your opinion on where a mass vaccination site in Manhattan should be located, fill out Levine’s survey at: https://mailchi.mp/81a28de9c4f6/94kudnd6jg