Feb. 19, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A mass COVID-19 vaccination site set to open in Jamaica next week will reserve its first appointments to residents of surrounding communities that have been devastated by the pandemic.
Eligible residents who live in one of 21 ZIP codes can begin booking appointments for the York College site beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today.
The vaccination site opens on Wednesday.
The appointment scheduling will be open to only Southeast Queens and Far Rockaway residents of the ZIP codes 11411, 11412, 11413, 11418, 11419, 11420, 11422, 11423, 11427, 11428, 11429, 11430, 11432, 11433, 11434, 11435, 11436, 11439, 11691, 11692 and 11693 for the first week.
These are neighborhoods that have low vaccination rates despite having been impacted greatly by the COVID-19 virus.
“For one week we’re targeting certain communities with low vaccination rates, high [COVID-19] positivity rates,” Cuomo said.
The neighborhoods, which are predominately Black, have some of the lowest vaccination rates across the five boroughs. Most of the ZIP codes have vaccination rates of just 3 or 4 percent, according to city data.
Restricting appointments to residents of these ZIP codes for one week is part of the state’s effort to address disparities in the pandemic response among communities of color, Cuomo said.
After one week, vaccination appointments at York College will be open to all Queens residents.
The site has the capacity to vaccinate 3,000 people a day, making it the largest vaccination site in the state, along with a site in Crown Heights, Brooklyn which has the same capacity.
The York College site is part of a federal-state partner vaccination effort. Its vaccine supply is a special allocation from the federal government — separate from the state or city’s weekly allotted dosages.