Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-104) is calling upon New York State to establish permanentCOVID-19 vaccination sites in the cities of Newburgh and Poughkeepsie and to simplify the state’s haphazard and frustrating signup process.
Jacobson said, “last month, I called for a permanent government-run vaccination site in my district. Since then, the state established a pop-up site at the Newburgh Armory and another at Beulah Baptist Church in the City of Poughkeepsie. Pop-up sites are well and good, but residents need reliability and consistency.
“The Cities of Newburgh and Poughkeepsie are two of the hardest hit areas in the Hudson Valley. Establishing permanent vaccination sites in these cities will go a long way to addressing the Newburgh micro-cluster and help the many black and Latino residents of both cities who lack cars and who have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.
“More generally, there has been too much confusion surrounding the how, when, and where New Yorkers can sign up to get the Covid-19 vaccine. My office has been flooded with calls and emails from frustrated constituents and their frustration is entirely justified.
“Appointments are filled within minutes of being announced, leaving residents who are eligible to receive the vaccine unable to make an appointment and unsure of the steps they need to take to obtain one.
“The Biden administration has done a tremendous job accelerating vaccine production. Our job is to make sure those doses get to the people who need them. We need a user-friendly system where eligible residents can sign up either by phone or online and receive an alert when an appointment is available within a reasonable geographical radius,” Jacobson concluded.
According to New York State guidelines, healthcare workers, seniors 65+, and a broad range of essential workers are eligible for the vaccine. Last week, New Yorkers of any age with comorbidities also became eligible, but the rollout has been a patchwork of state and county efforts with residents signing up with the state, their home county, and whatever area pharmacies receive a shipment.