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AOC Tours NYC on ‘Vacunabus’ to Make Covid-19 Vaccine Accessible

The Latinx population in the U.S. remains one of the least vaccinated communities despite a desire to get the Covid-19 vaccine. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only about 13 percent of people in the U.S. who have received at least one vaccine dose are Latino, even though we make up about 17 percent of the overall population. It is important to note that only about half of the CDC’s data includes the race or ethnicity of vaccinated individuals, Kaiser Health News reported. Regardless, there have been multiple reports indicating that communities of color haven’t received the vaccine at the same level as white people. There are many factors contributing to this and in order to bridge the gap Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is participating in a mobile vaccine initiative that’s bringing the vaccines to communities in need in New York City.

The “Vacunabus” is currently providing access to the vaccine for food service industry workers and undocumented immigrants. It will then focus on providing the vaccine for the homeless population in NYC.  “I’m really excited about this project. Vaccine equity isn’t just about encouraging people to get vaccines, it’s about bringing vaccines to the people,” AOC tweeted on May 7. She explained that there’s no appointment required but you can make one and it’s ADA compliant so anyone with mobility issues can still get the vaccine.

This is part of an initiative that launched last month where the vaccine bus visited all five boroughs in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio supports the mobile vaccine bus calling it a “game changer” and estimating they can provide upwards of 200 vaccinations per day, according to CBS New York. The publication reported that they’re administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which only requires a single shot.

“There’s 500,000 New Yorkers who work in restaurants and we want to find all of them who want to be vaccinated and make it easier for them,” Sean Feeney, co-founder of Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants  told CBS New York.

Deterrents to communities in need include not being able to take time off work, transportation, and access health care.“I feel good. I’m glad they have the bus here. It’s so easy, because I don’t have a car. It’s so inconvenient to travel too far,” restaurant worker Elane Xi told CBS New York.