Photo: Fernando Martinez / Impremedia
Although the end of the COVID-19 pandemic was officially declared in the country, another action began in the Big Apple this Monday, so as not to lower our guard with the vaccine boosters, specifically in Hispanic communities.
After 29 months of a public health crisis that devastated mostly communities of color, now pushing ‘booster’ among New York residents and vaccination in children, is the line of action outlined by the Health authorities.
Therefore, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra and the New York City Health Commissioner (DOHMH), Dr Ashwin Vasanin association with the Community Health Organization Somos, promoted from Upper Manhattan, a call to all the Hispanic family to protect themselves from the new variants of the coronavirus.
The exhortation gains strength with the start of the school year and some data on the vaccination of the little ones: less than 3% of African American and Latino childrenunder the age of five, have received at least one dose of the vaccines against this viral infection.
Additionally, in majority-Hispanic neighborhoods in South The Bronx and Upper Manhattanthe lowest percentages of people who have injected the booster doses are observed.
For example in Mott Haven locations, in southern Salsa County, only 28% of eligible residents have opted for their third immunization. In Washington Heights, 34%, on average, have approached the available centers to “shield” their immunization.
“Vaccines have saved millions of lives, keeping people away from hospital emergencies. With fall around the corner, more people will be indoors. And the risk of contagion is greater. We urge families to protect their children six months and older”, highlighted Becerra, from a clinic of the SOMOS organization, in Harlem.
Vaccines “in Spanish”
In alliance with the organization SOMOS, the Health authorities try to reach more communities that are reluctant to injections, with doctors who speak your own language and culturally understand the challenges of Hispanic families.
“We are here to further push the reinforcements both in adults, as well as expand the doses in younger children”, insisted the Dr Ramon TallajPresident of SOMOS.
The updated reinforcements are considered by science to be more effective in protecting the population against the latest variants of COVID-19, such as the omicron and its sub-lineages.
In this same direction, the City launched last week the campaign Boosters 2.0 which will be available in the 11 public hospitals, local pharmacies, health care providers and through home vaccination for eligible New Yorkers
This initiative seeks to expand the stick with updated bivalent boosters that provide new protection against subvariants of the virus and are recommended for all New Yorkers ages 12 and older, whose last vaccine was given two months ago.
In New York City, Pfizer’s new bivalent COVID-19 boosters are available for ages 12 and up. And the doses of Moderna for over 18 years.
“Boosters of these vaccines are a significant advance, since these pharmaceuticals were launched in 2020. And they are our strategy to mitigate future waves. Now is the best time to prepare for the arrival of autumn and winter,” said the Dr Ashwin Vasancommissioner of the DOHMH.
“I trust vaccines
This Monday, at one of Somos’s community clinics in Upper Manhattan, the Dominican Rosalina Ortizcame with her three children ages 1, 5 and 11.
“All my children, even the youngest, are vaccinated against COVID-19. Because it seems to me that thanks to these injections we can say today that this virus has been controlled. And I do have the security, that if you get infected again, you get very mild illness, if you have the injections. I have seen it in my family,” she commented.
Diametrically opposed to this opinion, is also the islander, Patricia Peralta, 50 years old: “Children have their natural immunity. I agree to vaccinate the elderly, but not my grandchildren yet.”
Where to find the vaccine boosters?
- If you live in Upper Manhattan you can visit https://somosvaccination.mdland.com/p/covid/# and schedule an appointment to discuss with doctors in spanish your doubts about new pharmaceutical products. If you need help making an appointment because of a disability, you can call 1-833-SOMOSNY.
- All New Yorkers can check with their health providers to see if they offer up-to-date boosters or check with the New York City Vaccine Finder online: https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/
- New York City continues to offer Pfizer at-home vaccines for those who are homebound and are over 65 years old. Eligible New Yorkers can still sign up for any dose in the series, including the updated booster, online for an at-home vaccination or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).
30% of resident Latinos in New York City have received the ‘booster’ against COVID-19