Gov. Cuomo says he won't get vaccine until hard-hit communities get access to shots
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that he won't be taking the COVID-19 vaccine until hard-hit areas with higher percentages of Black and Hispanic populations can also get it.
While underscoring the vaccine's safety, Cuomo singled out communities like the South Bronx and other low-income areas across the state Sunday, saying he stands in solidarity with those negatively affected by the systemic racism of the health care system. He said he won't be jumping the vaccination line just because he's the governor.
Vaccinations have been underway in New York since Dec. 14, with more than 100,000 New Yorkers already given the first shot.
The governor spoke to parishioners at Abyssian Baptist Church in a recorded segment Sunday, saying the vaccine only works if people take it. He reminded the congregation that top scientists all over the world stand by its safety.
He says the virus has already infected and killed more Black and brown people in economically depressed areas.
The governor's office reported Sunday that the statewide positivity rate is now 7.98% with 138 deaths from COVID-19.
Eight of those fatalities were in the Bronx, 13 in Brooklyn, three in Queens, two in Manhattan and one on Staten Island.
The governor says hundreds of thousands of more vaccine doses are headed to the state and that they'll all be administered the right way.
The governor also said that a task force has been assembled to ensure fair distribution of the vaccine, adding that pop-up vaccination sites will travel to public housing authorities, churches and community centers around the state to make sure no one is left behind.