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Pop-up vaccination sites will target the underserved

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The city of Rochester and Monroe County are partnering to open four pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites, one in each geographic quarter of the city, with the intent of serving the city’s most vulnerable communities by going directly into them.

In total, the pop-up sites are expected to administer 1,100 Pfizer vaccinations. County Executive Adam Bello said he expected that the clinics would happen on a recurring basis.

“If our entire community is going to pull out of this pandemic, we can not do it as business as usual and do it in the same ineffective ways,” Bello said. “We must act, and we must start by bringing vaccines to where people live.”

Vaccination appoinitments at the sites will be open to residents of the following zip codes: 14604, 14605, 14606, 14607, 14608, 14609, 14610, 14611, 14613, 14614, 14615, 14619, 14620, 14621, and 14622. Appointments will be available on the Monroe County website, monroecounty.gov/health-covid19-vaccine. Several organizations have offered to help people sign up for appointments, including the United Way of Greater Rochester, Ibero American Action League, Lifespan, Person Centered Housing Options, Refugees Helping Refugees, and Community Health Worker Association.

The locations and dates of the pop-up sites are:
  • Baber AME Church, 550 Meigs St.; April 8, 15
  • Memorial AME Zion Church, 549 Clarissa St.; April 9, 16
  • Greater Harvest Baptist Church, 121 Driving Park Ave.; April 23
  • Trenton and Pamela Jackson Recreation Center, 485 N. Clinton Ave.; April 10, 17
  • Edgerton Recreation Center, 41 Backus St.; April 11, 18, 25
  • Thomas P. Ryan Recreation Center, 530 Webster Ave.; April 24
A clinic is set for April 22 as well, though the location is to be determined, according to the county.

As of Thursday, 34.7 percent of Monroe County residents had received at least the first dose of a vaccine. The only Finger Lakes county beating Monroe is Ontario County, where 38 percent of residents had received a first dose.



However, data from the state Department of Health shows a clear racial disparity in who’s getting vaccinated. In Monroe County, 87.3 percent of people with at least their first shot were white, compared to 8.1 percent of Black residents. In Monroe County, white people make up 78.9 percent of the population while Black people make up 15 percent.

Daniele Lyman-Torres, commissioner of the city’s Department of Recreation and Human Services, said there is a critical need for vaccination sites to be placed directly in communities where the gaps are occurring.

“This strategy (is) the cornerstone of what we want to do to make sure there is equitable access to the vaccine in neighborhoods, in locations where people are accustomed to going,” Lyman-Torres said. “They can get there, they’re familiar, they can walk there, they know that people there know who they are...they’re trusted and familiar faces in many cases.”

Along with the pop-up sites, Bello said Monroe County has received a “guaranteed base allotment” of vaccinations from the state of New York for at least the next several weeks. That number clocks in at 4,000 vaccines per week.

On Wednesday, a mix-up at a production facility in Baltimore caused 15 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines to be thrown away. Public Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza said that that will have an impact on Monroe County’s supply of vaccines.

“Our worry certainly on the health department level is that this will greatly decrease our supply in the coming weeks,” Mendoza said.

On Tuesday, April 6, New York’s eligibility for vaccinations will open up to all residents over the age of 16. Despite the potential Johnson and Johnson shortage and the widening pool of eligibility, Bello said he is overall not concerned about the vaccine rollout being hampered.

“The vaccines coming into the county over the past couple months have been coming in at an increasing rate,” Bello said. “I don’t have any concern that there will be a fall off in the number of vaccines incoming. I feel very confident.”

Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or gino@rochester-citynews.com.

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