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More than $1M Allocated to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy, As Study Finds 60% of Brooklynites Remain Skeptical

Brooklyn remains below the citywide average for the number of people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine
Brooklyn residents have mixed feelings about the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo:

As many as three in five Brooklyn residents would hesitate or refuse to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, a new study reveals.

More than 1,600 Brooklyn residents were surveyed as part of the study released by Brooklyn Communities Collaborative, Community Care of Brooklyn and Maimonides Medical Center, which set out to understand community attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccinations and inform outreach efforts. 

The study found that while the 61% of respondents had been directly affected by COVID-19, 59.9% still did not intend to be vaccinated or remained unsure. The main concern cited was side effects.

BCC Executive Director Shari Suchoff said understanding community members' experiences and concerns, who they trusted and where they went for information was crucial to ensuring COVID-19 vaccines were distributed effectively and equitably.

"This study will be instrumental in making sure these vaccines are accessible to those who need them most, and that the diverse voices of community members are heard and reflected in our COVID-19 outreach efforts," Suchoff said.

In response to the study BCC, in partnership with Maimonides Medical Center, is allocating $150,000 to support COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and outreach efforts throughout the borough.

The funds, provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will be distributed by BCC and Maimonides Medical Center to: Arab American Family Support Center, Air NYC, Bay Ridge Center, Brownsville Multi-Serivce Family Health and Wellness Centers, Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic , Brooklyn Perinatal Network, CAMBA, The Code Foundation, Chinese American Planning Council, Caribbean Women's Health Association, Elite Learners, Haitian American Community Coalition and Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island.

The New York Community Trust announced Monday it would add to that by giving $1 million in funding to six nonprofits to counter vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.

The Trust's Vice President of Grants Shawn Morehead said the coronavirus pandemic not only created new needs for New Yorkers, but it also brought longstanding inequities into focus.

"Even as the vaccine rollout helps us turn the corner, we're continuing to address new and long-standing needs, ranging from vaccine misinformation to digital inequity and low voter turnout in local elections," she said.

The funds will go to Community Health Care Association of New York ($200,000); CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy ($225,000); Fund for Public Health in New York ($150,000); New York Academy of Medicine ($150,000); Public Good Projects ($125,000); VOCAL-NY ($150,000).

The New York Community Trust is giving another $8.9 million in grants to 47 other nonprofits to increase voter engagement, bridge the digital divide, and more.


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