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Cuomo Announces Effort To Strengthen Fairness And Equity In Vaccine Distribution

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) - Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state is expanding its deployment of community vaccination kits to strengthen fairness and equity in the distribution process for COVID-19 vaccines.

The governor made the announcement in Brooklyn on Saturday, noting that the state recently piloted the deployment kits to several senior housing developments in New York City.

The kits are being deployed to pop-up locations around the state including Mt. Olivet Baptist Church on Adams St. in Rochester. That church’s website notes that there is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine being distributed on Monday, January 25, by appointment only. The distribution is in partnership with Monroe County.

The community vaccination kits being distributed by the state include items such as vials, syringes, room dividers, PPE, cleaning supplies and workstation equipment.

On Sunday, Cuomo delivered videotaped remarks to Mt. Olivet in Rochester as well as churches in Syracuse and New York City.

Cuomo, who has complained that New York does not have enough vaccine supplies to meet the demand, said anyone who is eligible to be inoculated, including those over 65 years old, should get the vaccine if they can.

“My mother, who is 65-plus, will take it,” Cuomo said. “I have my daughters, who I love more than life itself, they will take it when they are eligible. And I will take it also. You should take it too.”

Polls have shown that vaccine skepticism is relatively high in Black communities. Two in five Black Americans in a survey last month from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research said they would not get a coronavirus vaccine.

In his recorded remarks, Cuomo said the coronavirus pandemic exposed the nation's racism, noting that Black and Hispanic people have died from the virus at higher rates than white people.

Cuomo said he would fight to deliver vaccine doses at public housing complexes and through churches and community groups “to make sure it is accessible to the hardest hit communities of color.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.