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Testimony on Vaccine Hesitancy and Equity in NYC

By: Allie Bohm Senior Policy Counsel, Policy

New York City’s initial vaccine roll-out strategy focused on mass vaccination sites and the pharmacy network for vaccine delivery, a network that the City well knew was woefully inadequate in the neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19. Vaccine rollout sidelined community-based organizations (CBOs), safety-net providers, senior centers, and others who are trusted providers for our Black, Latinx, brown, immigrant, disabled, and lowincome communities and who know how to meet those communities where they are.

The City should consult with CBOs on the placement of vaccination sites and other strategic decisions; partner with and fund CBOs to engage harder to reach populations; pair every vaccination site with CBOs or connector organizations to facilitate effective outreach; employ and resource CBOs to staff outreach teams; work with CBOs to design funding opportunities to reach smaller grassroots CBOs that do not have the capacity to find, write, administer, and report on large grants themselves; incentivize and support wellconnected and larger CBOs to work with smaller CBOs with strong community ties; provide support to smaller CBOs seeking vaccine allocations; and increase CBO influence on and access to the placement of mobile vaccination units.

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