Vaccine canvassers hit streets of Mott Haven, seeking the unvaccinated

New York City and State continued to ramp up outreach efforts to unvaccinated residents last week, opening mass vaccination sites to walk-ins and sending an army of individuals into the streets to give vaccination appointments to anyone still seeking one.

Last Friday, M.D. Israel and an assistant combed the streets of Mott Haven, asking everyone they crossed if they had been vaccinated and if not, pulling out a cellphone and making an appointment on the spot.  Israel said he is one of several hundred “canvassers” contracted by the city Health and Hospitals Corp. to take vaccination availability “to the people.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday state vaccination sites at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and the Javits convention center in Manhattan were opened to walk-ins, with no appointment necessary.  Walk-in availability is for first shots only; second shots are scheduled at the time the first shot is administered.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraged individual vaccination sites to offer walk-in appointments, as well.

With vaccination rates rising in all boroughs and more than half of city adults now vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is on track to fully reopen by July 1, and he aims to have bars, restaurants, theaters and other group events operating without restrictions.

But disparities in who is getting vaccinated persist. Less than a quarter of 18-34 year old Bronxites have had their first dose which is well behind other boroughs like Manhattan, according to city Health Department data.