Mobile vaccine bus launches in New York City this week
Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor’s Office
As of today, all New Yorkers ages 16+ are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, and one of the ways the city is making the process easier is through a new mobile vaccine bus. The bus can administer 150-200 doses per day and will be focused on NYC’s most vulnerable residents. To that end, during its first week, the bus will focus on vaccinating restaurant and delivery workers. Currently, the city’s mobile vaccine fleet includes 20 vans.
In a press conference today, Mayor de Blasio announced that the bus will begin its work tomorrow in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He also noted the heroism of our restaurant and delivery workers and that a number of them are undocumented, making it more important to reach them. The mobile vaccine clinic is a partnership between the city and ROAR (Restaurants Organizing, Advocating & Rebuilding), an organization that provides direct relief and assistance to the city’s restaurant workers.
There will be six exam rooms within the bus, as well as a registration area and a refrigerator to store the doses. The bus also includes an ADA lift, which allows it to give the vaccine to any New Yorker. When the bus launches in Sunset Park, there will be in-person staff who speak English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
The entire mobile fleet, including the bus and vans, will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They will target neighborhoods identified by the City’s Task Force for Racial Inclusion and Equity as being hardest-hit by the virus and with histories of socio-economic disparity. Local community-based organizations will help New Yorkers schedule advanced appointments with the vaccine fleet, but they will also accept walk-up appointments when available.
Another new approach the mayor announced is expanded walk-up appointments for seniors 75+, which will increase this week from three city-run sites to 25. The pilot program proved successful with this vulnerable group who may have a harder time making appointments online. Last month, the city launched another effort to vaccinate homebound seniors by going door to door at select residential buildings.
As of today, 4,601,756 total vaccine doses have been administered in New York City, more than the population of the state of Kentucky.
Find the city’s vaccine appointment finder website here. You can also call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. Restaurant workers and restaurant delivery workers can schedule appointments by emailing [email protected], or by calling 1-833-ROAR-NYC.