Community Gets A New Walk-in COVID Vax Center!

You get a Pfizer, you get a Pfizer, and everyone can get a Pfizer!

NYC walk-in vaccination site opened May 7 at 211 Ainslie Street. Thanks to the persistence of community leaders — photo credit: Stefano Giovannini

Updated on 05.13.2021 — to include news that 12-year-olds and older can receive the vaccine.

After months of advocacy from Community Board and leaders who serve the elderly, North Brooklyn has finally got a NYC COVID-19 vaccination center at the community’s town hall (211 Ainslie Street) beginning May 7.  The site is also home to Swinging Sixties Senior Center and Small World Early Childhood Center and all ages from 12-years old and older can walk in without an appointment and receive the Pfizer vaccine. The united effort by many community groups including Southside United H.D.F.C – Los Sures, Cooper Park Residents Council, Conselyea Street Block Association, Williamsburg Houses Residents Council, Lindsay Park Cooperative, St. Nicks Alliance, The People’s Firehouse, Community Board 1, and a helpful nudge from Assembly Member Emily Gallagher convinced City Hall leaders of the dire need to open a vaccination site to serve seniors and the community’s most vulnerable or disenfranchised.

“This community was hit really hard by COVID. It’s really important that our seniors have access to walkable vaccination centers. We have to make sure we have the vaccines locally and have them available to all.”

Assembly Member Emily Gallagher

At the ribbon cutting for the center, Assembly Member Emily Gallagher said, “This community was hit really hard by COVID.  It’s really important that our seniors have access to walkable vaccination centers.  We have to make sure we have the vaccines locally and have them available to all.  It’s not enough for vaccinations to be free, they also have to be at an easy place to get to. Where people trust they will be safe. I know this community really relies on Swinging Sixties, St. Nicks Alliance, and Los Sures to make sure that they feel safe and comfortable here. I’m really grateful to be working with these partners, grateful to the City, and grateful to my staff for charging ahead and leading the way.”

“This is the culmination of an effort on the part of 10 community leaders, who were all determined to provide vaccinations for our seniors. Getting a vaccination at the beginning was fairly impossible, and was totally impossible for seniors. Together, with Los Sures, we overcame that, using vans to bring people to vaccination sites. I’m so proud. Even before we opened today, we had enabled 570 seniors to get vaccinated here in Willamsburg/Greenpoint. The opening of the center today would mean that the rest of our community can also be vaccinated, and it’s a great day for our neighborhood.” 

Michael Rochford, Exec. Dir. St. Nicks Alliance

“This is the culmination of an effort on the part of 10 community leaders, including: Dealice Fuller of Community Board 1, Representatives of Williamsburg Houses Community Council, as well as Cooper Park Houses Resident Council, Swinging Sixties, Los Sures, they did an amazing job, as well as other community leaders who were all determined to provide vaccinations for our seniors,” said St. Nicks Alliance Exec. Dir. Michael Rochford. He continued, “Getting a vaccination at the beginning was fairly impossible, and was totally impossible for seniors. Together, with Los Sures, we overcame that, using vans to bring people to vaccination sites. I’m so proud. Even before we opened today, we had enabled 570 seniors to get vaccinated here in Willamsburg/Greenpoint. The opening of the center today would mean that the rest of our community can also be vaccinated, and it’s a great day for our neighborhood.” 

One of the bus loads of seniors transported to Woodhull Hospital for their COVID-19 Vaccines. An effort orchestrated by St. Nicks Alliance and Southside United H.D.F.C – Los Sures Photo Credit Southside United H.D.F.C – Los Sures

“Both Los Sures and St. Nicks Alliance partnered up during the height of the pandemic and through serving our community we saw the need that was here for a local [vaccination] site. But opening this today it’s like a milestone for us in our community. What it means is when we come together we can do things for those most vulnerable in the community and we need to continue that effort. Our seniors today feel safe they can stay in their neighborhood get their vaccination, and that it’s done with love for them and for the overall health of our community.”

Southside United HDFC–Los Sures Exec. Dir. Juan Ramos

“Both Los Sures and St. Nicks Alliance partnered up during the height of the pandemic and through serving our community we saw the need that was here for a local [vaccination] site. Our most vulnerable population, our seniors, were the ones most at risk. For them to travel out of the community to try to get themselves on a list to get a shot and to navigate technology, it all became cumbersome. We all jumped in to help them as much as we could.  But opening this today it’s like a milestone for us in our community. What it means is when we come together we can do things for those most vulnerable in the community and we need to continue that effort. Our seniors today feel safe they can stay in their neighborhood get their vaccination, and that it’s done with love for them and for the overall health of our community,” said Southside United HDFC–Los Sures Exec. Dir. Juan Ramos

Southside United HDFC–Los Sures Chairman David Lopez said, “It’s been a very difficult year, all but a few have lost loved ones.  We found ourselves praying that we would emerge from these immense challenges with a higher conscientiousness, a higher love and a higher commitment to do battle against this devastating virus.  The amazing people of Los Sures and the amazing people of St. Nicks Alliance are proud to do their small part in this battle.”

211 Ainslie street, Williamsburg Brooklyn NY — photo credit Stefano Giovannini

For several decades 211 Ainslie Street has been a provider of much needed relief to the elderly.  Since seniors became eligible for the vaccine they found appointments were difficult to make due to IT obstacles and vaccination sites were too far from them and physically out of reach for those who are mobility limited.  The deal struck with community groups sets aside up to 50 slots for community groups to register seniors through St. Nicks Alliance.  Go to nyc.gov/vcc for more information.

“This is such a big victory for our community. We’ve been trying for such a long time and we’re glad it’s here. [Seniors] can walk here, family members can escort them here. This is such a big victory for the community and for the City at large. We’ll get so many people vaccinated now,” said Conselyea Street Block Association President Phil Caponegro.

Originally published on 05.11.2021

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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