On Wednesday, February 3, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 35 additional community-based pop-up vaccination sites across the state are coming online, some the same day as the announcement. One of the 35 is the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, located at 321 South William Street in Newburgh. The appointments were completely booked as soon as it was announced.
Mayor Torrance Harvey made the local announcement on his Facebook Live at around 2:30 p.m on Wednesday. The vaccination site opened on Saturday, February 6 and conducted vaccinations in partnership with Montefiore St. Luke’s Hospital.
“I was just notified that Governor Cuomo put it on a list on the New York State website that Newburgh is going to have a pop-up vaccine event for the elderly and folks eligible in 1a and 1b,” said Harvey on his Facebook Live. “I am still trying to find out all the details.”
Harvey said it would not have been made possible without the constant push and collaboration with the City of Newburgh’s representatives like Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson and more.
Additionally, he said it would not have been made possible without Bill Kaplan at the Armory Unity Center. Harvey said they are still waiting to hear further details about appointments and other information for the pop-up vaccination site, although he said it will target the elderly population. The pop-up site will come back online three weeks later for individuals to receive their second doses.
Newburgh Town Councilman Scott Manley reported that 304 first doses of the vaccine were administered Saturday.
Harvey and Kaplan confirmed that all appointments had already been filled by Wednesday afternoon.
“It goes quick,” Harvey commented on his Facebook Live. “I’m working on additional days.”
Kaplan is also working to receive more doses and wrote a personal thank you to the Governor’s office. He said if they receive more doses it will go directly to the minority community in Newburgh.
Other locations across the state where the pop-up vaccination sites will be held include senior housing developments, public housing sites, churches and other community centers. A press release from New York State said the sites will vaccinate over 25,000 people this week. More sites are scheduled to come online across the state every week.
Since January 15, the deployment of vaccination kits have enabled 9,000 New Yorkers to receive their first dose at a community-based pop up site.
“COVID brought the ugly truth of inequity and inequality in this country to a tipping point,” Governor Cuomo said. “COVID has killed Black and Latino New Yorkers at a higher rate and that is why these community-based sites are one of New York’s vaccine priorities. More than 9,000 New Yorkers have been vaccinated through this effort and by making the vaccine accessible and delivered by trusted community partners, we can address the skepticism and bring this life-saving vaccine to those who need it most. The light at the end of the tunnel is bright and getting brighter with each new location and each shot administered.”
Other community-based pop-up vaccination sites in the area include ones in Poughkeepsie at the Beulah Baptist Church, in Peekskill at the Kiley Youth Center and more.
Harvey said that with the pop-up event going well, they are going to ask Governor Cuomo if they can be a vaccination POD, or points of dispensing.