Schumer encourages New York City orgs to cash in on vaccine outreach grants

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer
Photo by Mark Hallum

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer is encouraging New York City governmental agencies and nonprofits to apply for a piece of the $250 million in grants for COVID-19 vaccine outreach and education.

Through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, organizations can work with their communities with this funding to redeem lagging vaccinations rates which went from about 100,000 per day in April to about 40,000 per day in May.

“All levels of government have worked day and night to get shots in arms, but the work ahead, to expand those numbers and reach those who remain unvaccinated, is going to take more time and funding,” said Schumer. “Reaching out to those who remain unvaccinated will be harder than what we have done so far, because education, outreach and 1:1 interaction matter all the more. With President Biden just announcing a new, national goal of 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4th, New York entities should use the next nine days to apply for fed funds if they feel they can help us meet the mark and propel our vaccination rates.”

But data from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office differs from Schumer’s point.

The governor’s office claims that New York state has administered 149,543 since Saturday and up to 1 million in the last seven days. About 7,720,156 New Yorkers are fully vaccinated since the effort came underway in December, by the Cuomo administration’s count.

The funding is designed to help entities hire and pay a workforce to operate in medically underserved communities where reliable information on the COVID-19 vaccine may be scarce. Outreach workers can be assisted by community health workers and social support specialists to assist people in making appointments for the vaccine and even arrange transportation, according to Schumer’s office.

“Look, even here in New York City, which has been doing phenomenal work to get shots in arms, vaccination rates have fallen from 100,000 a day in April to below 40,000 on some days this month,” Schumer said. “We have more work to do, and the feds should be a resource for getting that work done.”

Applications can be made on the HHS website which will be accepting them until May 18.