Transit workers with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority providing vaccinations at their office in downtown Brooklyn starting tomorrow and they expect to stick a lot of arms at this location with a capacity of 200 people per day.
Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., MTA brass said that while their employees can get shots at any location in the city, having the hub at 130 Livingston St. will increase options for their workforce designed exclusively for them in a central, easy-to-get-to location.
“We have suffered far too many losses at MTA already, transit workers have carried the city on their backs,” interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg said. “If we’re going to get back to normal we need to step up and all get our shots. Beyond the vaccine we need to use all the tools available to us; we need to continue following the same guidelines we’ve had all along. We need to keep wearing masks, getting tested, maintaining social distance, washing our hands frequently, staying home if we feel sick and avoiding unnecessary travel.”
Over two months into the effort to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, the agency said over 10,000 of their workers have received at least one or both doses. Another 10,000 are signed up for the shots through the MTA’s portal.
“We want to see that number much higher, much, much higher. However, our efforts are dependent on vaccine supply and availability provided by the federal government,” MTA Chairman Pat Foye said. “So we ask that our workers be patient pending delivery of additional doses for their time to participate. We recognize that some of our colleagues may be hesitant about getting the vaccine. But the data has been quite clear; the CDC and other public health experts agree that the available vaccines are safe and effective at minimizing severe risk of illness.”
Foye said he would be receiving the first dose of the vaccine during a press conference on Tuesday to encourage acceptance of among the workforce, of whom about 140 have died over the course of the pandemic.
Robert Worthy, a surface line dispatcher of about 22 years with the MTA, received both doses and reported that he had minimal side effects. But expressing sadness that he is not able to socialize with his mother and father and knowing a number of colleagues who died, he said it was worth it.
“My experience with the vaccine was I got the first shot, it was no problem,” Worthy said. “I was told I would feel some symptoms with the second shot. I didn’t feel anything apart from a little soreness on my arm. I went about my day, no side effects, no headaches, no dizziness, no fevers. So for me, it was a good experience.”
While the rate of infection for transit workers with the MTA has historically remained at about half the percentage of the city overall. Despite this, there have been no impacts on service due to this.