New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the “Roll Up Your Sleeve” Campaign to promote houses of worship of all faiths across the state to sign up as vaccination sites for their communities. All houses of worship can begin to serve as points of distribution for the COVID vaccine starting in April, significantly increasing the number of doses they can administer. As part of this new campaign, medical providers are being asked to volunteer to partner with houses of worship to conduct vaccination clinics, furthering the state’s commitment to ensure fairness and equity in the vaccine distribution process.
This campaign builds on the state’s efforts to bring the vaccine to underserved communities and combat vaccine hesitancy through houses of worship. The Governor previously encouraged religious leaders of all faiths to partner with the state to establish pop-up vaccination sites at their facilities, and since March 8, over 200 new houses of worship have signed up to serve their communities. Houses of worship of all faiths are eligible to serve as points of distribution for the COVID vaccine. Interested medical providers and houses of worship can sign up here.
“Faith leaders are the most trusted voices in their respective communities, and with their help, we will be able to reach those New Yorkers who have suffered the most from this pandemic and bring the vaccine to the communities that got hit the hardest by COVID,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through this collaborative initiative, we will make sure that no neighborhood gets left behind in the vaccination phase of this ongoing fight. We have a duty to make sure the vaccine distribution is fair and equitable so that our communities that suffered the most in the peak of the pandemic do not get hit with yet another injustice.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and President of the National Action Network, said,”Houses of Worship are also places of refuge and trust and there is no better place to have people confidently roll up their sleeves. We need Faith Leaders to rise up to the moment and help save people’s lives that we are committed to serve.”
New York State has continued to increase the number of pop-up sites deployed throughout the state. Since January 15, more than 160 community-based pop-up sites administered more than 62,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The establishment of many of these vaccination sites was made possible through partnerships with multiple public and private health care providers. Host sites and partner providers conduct outreach within their communities and work with community leaders and organizations to identify eligible New Yorkers and schedule vaccination appointments.
This continued development of community-based ‘pop up’ vaccination sites furthers Governor Cuomo’s mandate of ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. In late 2020, the Governor announced the launch of New York’s Vaccine Equity Task Force chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, National Urban League President & CEO Marc Morial, and Healthfirst President & CEO Pat Wang. Since its establishment, the Task Force has continued work to ensure vulnerable and underserved communities are not left behind by breaking down the barriers to vaccination and ensuring there is equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state.