DOH first deputy, chief equity officer receives COVID-19 vaccine at Canarsie HS

One of the city’s top health officials was vaccinated in Brooklyn Sunday.
Dr. Torian Easterling, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's first deputy commissioner and chief equity officer, received his shot at Canarsie High School.
Easterling has been leading the Health Department's work around vaccine equity, which he says is key to making sure that the hardest hit communities have access to vaccination sites.
That means putting those sites in neighborhoods that were the most impacted by the pandemic, like Canarsie, which is one of 10 neighborhoods in Brooklyn that was hit hard, according to city data.
He says the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has also been doing outreach efforts like robocalls and sending text messages about the vaccine, in the hope of boosting public trust.
And by getting his vaccine Sunday, he says it's not only to protect himself from coronavirus, but also to encourage others to join him in getting vaccinated -- to show anyone who may be on the fence that the vaccine is safe.
"As a physician and public health leader, I am really happy that I'm able to get the vaccine today. The vaccines are safe, the vaccines are effective. And so leading with that message that we're building trust about the information, but also trustworthiness is saying we have to earn the trust of New Yorkers," said Easterling.