New York: New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer last week released Fair Shot NYC, a vaccine equity plan to ensure that New Yorkers across backgrounds, income-levels, occupations and age groups have equitable access to vaccines as the City ramps up distribution. The plan includes recommendations for more transparency and outreach to increase access for communities of color, lower-income neighborhoods, and immigrant New Yorkers. Comptroller Stringer called on the City to release demographic data in real time broken down by age, race, profession and zip code, mandate businesses provide paid time off for employees who need to get vaccinated, and drastically scale up outreach and education through public advertising campaigns and local community leaders and organizations.
“Communities of color and lower-income New Yorkers bore the brunt of the pandemic, and now these same communities face systemic barriers to accessing life-saving vaccines,” said Comptroller Stringer. “We cannot continue to sideline our most vulnerable New Yorkers during the most important vaccine rollout of our lifetime. I am proposing a Vaccine Equity Agenda to center the communities who need it most and ensure our distribution and communication are meeting New Yorkers where they are – regardless of the color of your skin, language you speak, zip code you live in, or income you earn. That means not only making more data and information available to identify areas for improvement, but ramping up outreach efforts to proactively address and mitigate issues that are uncovered. We need to move quickly to ensure a fast and equitable vaccine rollout – our recovery from this pandemic depends on it.”
Comptroller Stringer sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio calling on the City to streamline and expedite vaccination and to utilize every available dose by creating “standby’’ lists of high-risk individuals, developing a central database of information to help hospitals and health care providers track demand and usage, and doubling down on outreach to communities to disseminate crucial information on eligibility and vaccination sites.