Testimony on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution & Accessibility in NYC
The U.S. has long pinned its hopes of emerging from the coronavirus pandemic on the development and distribution of an effective vaccine. And yet, New York City’s initial vaccine rollout has been slow. As of last week, the City had distributed just 25% of the COVID vaccines it had received since mid-December, and only around 110,000 New Yorkers have received their first dose of the vaccine.2 The City Council must do everything in its power to ensure that all New Yorkers who want to be vaccinated can get the COVID-19 vaccine and that all New Yorkers both are and feel safe doing so. This testimony will focus on three areas where the need for timely, equitable vaccine is particularly acute – congregate care, public schools, and carceral settings – and articulate three challenges the City Council must keep front of mind: vaccine distribution mechanisms; equitable, culturally competent vaccine distribution; and vaccine confidentiality.