Vaccine task force explains efforts to fill open appointments at Kodak Hawkeye site

Stephanie Duprey
Updated: March 01, 2021 11:20 PM
Created: March 01, 2021 09:15 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Knocking on front doors is how the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force is trying to fill as many vaccine spots as possible at the Kodak Hawkeye site.

Reaching more than 350 people over the weekend, volunteers from Common Ground Health, also known as the task force are making rounds to certain ZIP codes to fill vaccine spots, but filling out paperwork isn't all.

“It's providing information about the vaccines themselves, what's in them how they were developed because we know that there were concerns about all those things particularly in these communities,” Albert Blankley said, the chief operating officer for Common Ground Health. 

As of now, only 11,000 people have signed up for an appointment at the mass vaccination site. There are still 17,000 spots left for the next two days until it opens for everyone else. The task force says part of the problem is that some community members don't have access to resources.

"Many didn't have a reliable phone connection didn't have reliable internet access or transportation, but because we were able to have someone go talk with them, connect them with those resources help them get transportation, we know that those folks got vaccinated,” Blankley said.

Blankley said part of the process is putting volunteers in ZIP codes they live in and know how to navigate. The priority ZIP codes were chosen to increase vaccine equity for city, Black and Brown people living in under-served communities.

“It encourages people to be more open to listening about the different information that's out there, we worked really hard to match our volunteers with communities they understood and communities that were more likely to know them to facilitate that conversation,” Blankley said.

The eligible residents in ZIP codes 14603, 14606, 14605, 14606, 14608, 14609, 14611, 14613, 14614, 14615, 14619 and 14621 can keep an eye out in their neighborhoods to catch the volunteers. Blankley told News10NBC that community members are encouraged to connect with the task force in the next two days if you see them. 

The governor’s office announced Monday that more than 164,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to arrive in the state this week, but officials from the task force say anyone getting a vaccine from the spots that are left at the Hawkeye site will receive Pfizer.

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