Rockland health clinic pushes state for more doses of COVID-19 vaccines
A health clinic in Rockland County is pushing the state for more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to help better serve surrounding communities.
Sun River Health, which has six clinics in the county, only received 300 vaccines since they became available in New York. Those 300 vaccines were split between locations, with another 100 arriving sometime this week.
Clinic officials say their health centers are vital in vaccinating communities of color and underserved populations. Officials say 64% of patients in Rockland are Hispanic and 15% are Black.
"When we look at just the 1B category we have upwards of 1,059 individuals who are eligible for that, so an allotment of 400 does not meet that need," says Christopher Quinones, chief administrative officer of Sun River Health.
Right now, the clinic has 8,328 patients in Rockland eligible for the vaccine.
"Clinics like ours should be a priority because the patient base is already there, the connection is already there," says Quinones.
Clinic officials say they are confident they could administer 250 doses per week, per clinic. They say community clinics are vital to crushing COVID-19 for good.
When asked if community clinics will become more prioritized with vaccines, a spokesperson for the state Health Department issued a statement to News 12 saying, "We are using every possible method including NYS community vaccine kits, coordination with local health departments, and partnerships with faith groups and community clinics to make sure shots are accessible in hard hit communities, underserved areas of the state, and communities of color."