March 4, 2021 By Christian Murray
Two Congresswomen are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to open COVID-19 vaccination sites at five senior housing facilities in Queens that are managed by HANAC.
Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Carolyn Maloney penned a letter to the Mayor Monday asking him to add the buildings that are overseen by the Hellenic-American Action committee to the list of vaccination sites.
Three of the five buildings are in Astoria, with the other two in Flushing and Corona. The buildings contain a total of 650 senior affordable housing units.
The congresswomen say that residents of these buildings are primarily low-income seniors. “These residents—our constituents—are part of the high-risk demographic for severe outcomes…yet currently they do not have access to a convenient vaccination site.”
The letter notes that a large number of the residents have mental and physical disabilities that make it difficult for them to travel to the nearest vaccination site. Furthermore, many of these residents, they say, don’t have the technological literacy to reserve a vaccination appointment for themselves online—despite being eligible.
“Vaccine distribution should be easy, accessible and free for all,” the congresswomen wrote. “That is why we ask that you give full and fair consideration to adding on-site vaccination sites at each of the HANAC affordable housing residences.”
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office did not say whether the city would open sites at the HANAC facilities, just that more vaccination sites will be coming on line.
“We’ve opened roughly 400 sites…including neighborhood clinics, vaccine hubs, NYCHA pop-ups and more,” a spokesperson said. “We continue to seek creative new ways to provide vaccinations to New Yorkers where they are. As new sites are able to come online—which is supply dependent—we will continue to announce them.”