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This Past Sunday, Schumer Said To Ensure Incoming Vax Surge Coming To NY Does The Job, CDC Must Direct Dollars To Fund Boots-On-The-Ground In NYS; Include Door-Knocking, Latest Tech, & More To Help Educate More People About Vaccine & Build Trust 

Schumer Announces $3 Billion For This Goal Is Now Being Deployed, With New York To Benefit  

Schumer: Our Next Big Challenge Is Vaccine Hesitancy; This Blitz By CDC Will Help Us Overcome It 

Just days after announcing a push for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to deploy a billion dollar blitz to educate, conduct outreach and build more confidence in the effective COVID-19 vaccines, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced the White House heeded the call and will deploy $3 billion to the national blitz. 

Schumer said that New York will get a sizable allocation of these fed dollars to help overcome vaccine hesitancy and help speed our larger recovery. Schumer said this kind of effort, right now, is even more important with the rise in COVID variants, like the Brazil variant recently documented in Brooklyn. 

“I am glad the White House heeded the call and will deploy the federal dollars needed to fund a successful vaccine education blitz to get millions of more shots in arms,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “We know we need to flood the zone with information, vaccine supply, trained personnel and community-based organizations to get the job done. Our next big challenge here is hesitancy and this $3 billion dollar national blitz, with New York seeing a sizable share, will help us overcome it.” 

Schumer noted that the vaccine supercharge he announced last Friday, which includes 1.65 million vaccines a week to New York by the end of April, won’t maximize public immunity if swaths of people refuse to actually get a vaccine. Schumer said that’s why he asked for federal CDC dollars to go towards this blitz and fund boots-on-the-ground here in New York, door-knocking, the use of technology, multi-lingual strategies and more. He said our next job is to educate more New Yorkers about the vaccine, suppress misinformation and build trust. He said that this next big challenge—of vaccine hesitancy—can be overcome with a facts blitz that ensures science reigns. 

Schumer has said the number of New Yorkers and people across the country who are willing to get a vaccine has increased as more people receive it, and hear about it. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation “found that 55% of adults have already gotten their first dose or are planning to as soon as it becomes available, whereas in December just 37% said the same.”

The same poll said that the portion of people who are unsure about getting the vaccine—what the Foundation calls the “wait and see” group—has shrunk. Schumer and other experts say this is a promising sign that suggests confidence in the vaccine is increasing as the public sees neighbors, family members and professional peers receive a COVID vaccine without dangerous or limiting health effects. Schumer praised President Biden’s work that has led to these improvements, and said that in order to advance these positive facts, a CDC-led blitz that ensures facts reign and delivers a barrage of truth could help us achieve herd immunity faster.

However, despite these positive steps, Schumer said there is still an urgent need to address vaccine hesitancy. The most recent polls show that 1 in 3 adults will either refuse a vaccine or are unsure if they will take it when it is offered to them. A study this week found that barely half of front-line health-care workers have received their first dose of the vaccine, with huge numbers of them saying they weren’t confident in its safety and effectiveness. Experts have said the country is in a race against time to get people vaccinated before the variants become more widespread, and Schumer said vaccine hesitancy threatens to be a weight around New York’s ankles as it tries to outrun the variants.

The Biden administration has also been working hard to boost efforts to get the vaccine to underserved communities. Schumer says these efforts are critical to moving the ‘unsure’ to actually get the vaccine. The recent effort to utilize Community Health Centers will help on this front by allocating vaccines to federally-funded community clinics that help underserved communities and communities of color.

The sweeping federal effort and our local sites here in New York will be funded by a collective $50 billion that Schumer secured for vaccine distribution, procurement and administration in the December relief bill and the just-passed American Rescue Plan. All the CHC sites are eligible to become vaccine administration sites, but must elect to participate in the program and receive the vaccines from New York’s Community Health Center parent organizations, who will determine which sites will get vaccines. Schumer said this effort, alone, will help combat vaccine misinformation and build trust, but that the feds, via the CDC, must do more.”

“I’ve said it before and I will say it again: every person who might needlessly turn down a vaccine marks a win for the virus, and we cannot allow the virus or its variants to win,” Schumer said. “That is why it is such good news to know the White House has heeded our call to fund the outreach we need to occur.”