Image Credit: CUNY

One year ago today, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared an emergency disaster in New York State to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Since the governor’s declaration, New York State has had 1.8 million COVID-19 infections and 40,100 deaths. Presently three COVID-19 vaccines are FDA-approved, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart, the Moderna vaccine requires two doses 28 days apart, and the Johnson & Johnson requires only one dose.

 At present, 5.3 million-plus New Yorkers have received at least one dose of vaccination, and of that number, 2.8 million people are fully vaccinated.

CUNY has launched a new website #VaxUpCUNY, with complete information on how students, alumni, and faculty can receive COVID-19 vaccine information. In support of this campaign, CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos stated that “It is incumbent upon each of us to do all we can to help our city, state and nation finally overcome this horrific pandemic, As a public University deeply embedded in New York’s DNA, it is our responsibility to educate and inform about the critical importance of these vaccines to the health and well-being of our CUNY community, and also our loved ones, friends, neighbors, colleagues and the city as a whole. That is the mission of #VaxUpCUNY, with a special emphasis on allaying fears and concerns that exist in communities of color around these life-saving vaccines.”

The new CUNY site provides detailed information on vaccine eligibility and links to federal and state resources. Two-time CUNY nurse alumna and the first person in the United States to receive the vaccine Sandra Lindsay (BMCC ’94, Lehman ’98) voices in a special video message the importance of receiving the vaccine. She states that “The virus does not discriminate, I am seeing too many minorities die as we’re disproportionately affected — two to three times more than our white counterparts. COVID affects young people, people with no co-morbidities. Our best defense forward is a vaccination. This is the only thing that will get us out of this dark time and preserve life.” 

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