In order to encourage community members in Corona to get their COVID-19 shot, Queens/Bronx Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has launched an outreach campaign with a video series featuring community leaders in the area.
Corona was one of the first neighborhoods to be hit by COVID-19 and quickly became one of the most impacted areas in the country. Now that the vaccine is available to all New Yorkers over 16, with some New York City-run vaccine sites accepting walk-ins, Corona’s vaccination rates still lags when compared to the rest of the city — with only 20 percent of the population fully vaccinated as of Friday, April 30.
“I encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It is safe, effective, and free for all. You do not need to have health insurance and no one will ask about your immigration status,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “There is also now no appointment necessary for you to get your COVID vaccine at city-run sites, so you can just walk up. This vaccine is the first step in getting our community reopened and keeping all our loved ones safe.”
To combat mistrust about vaccines, Ocasio-Cortez worked with trusted community leaders in Corona to produce a series of videos that will target the Spanish-speaking Facebook users in the 11368 ZIP Code. The short videos feature medical staff from Elmhurst Hospital (which offers the vaccine to all community members), faith leaders, members of the Street Vendor Project and outreach staff from Make the Road New York.
In one video, Dennise Camacho, a member of Make the Road New York, said “For me it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated because only by getting the majority of people vaccinated will we end the pandemic, quarantine and everything we’ve been through.”
Camacho also said they felt “very good” after receiving their first shot of the Moderna vaccine.
The congresswoman’s team has hosted several tabling events in Corona Plaza with information to encourage residents to book their vaccine appointments and placed print ads in local Spanish-language newspapers, including El Diario NY and Queens Latino.
In February, Ocasio-Cortez lobbied to bring a pop-up vaccine site to the First Baptist Church in Corona, which administered more than 1,000 vaccine doses.
Ocasio-Cortez has joined local elected officials in urging the city to bring more vaccine sites to the area in order to increase accessibility to appointments.
According to a report by The City, many Corona residents can’t access the vaccine partly due to their inability to step away from work.
Local elected officials have been working with the city to bring pop-up vaccine sites to the neighborhood. On Thursday, SOMOS had a site at Iglesia Centro Cristiano Juda in Corona for a day to vaccinate close to 1,000 community members.
— Catalina Cruz, Esq. (@CatalinaCruzNY) April 29, 2021
In New York, COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone who is 16 and older. Individuals can get a vaccine without an appointment at select New York City-run sites. For more information on vaccine eligibility, where to find vaccine locations or appointments, visit www.nyc.gov/VaccineFinder or call 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692).