Following the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Town of Greenburgh is attempting to address any hesitancy community members may feel about receiving the immunization.
After the town launched its COVID Angels program in January, Supervisor Paul Feiner said the second phase of the Angels’ work is to address vaccine hesitancy compassionately and pointedly through and initiative called #VaxUpWestchester. Currently, the Angels provide outreach to thousands of vulnerable seniors and Westchester County residents to secure appointments.
The program, made possible in part by grants from UJA-Federation of New York and Westchester Community Foundation: A Division of The New York Community Trust, creates a new team of Angels dedicated to encouraging eligible community members to receive the COVID vaccine. The group will also urge residents to use the support of the Angels resources and assistance to secure appointments.
Greenburgh became the first Westchester municipality to start the COVID Angels program in January when New York opened eligibility to Phase 1B. The Angels help those in need of assistance navigate the registration process, make appointments and be on the hand to assist with transportation to a vaccination site.
The volunteers also make cold calls to seniors encouraging them to get the shot.
#VaxUpWestchester will be supported by students affiliated with the Theodore D. Young Community Center, which will conduct community surveys and report their findings. Feiner said the campaign will feature real residents sharing their personal stories on why getting vaccinated matters to them, their families and the health and safety of their communities.
Furthermore, the campaign will disperse information and resources to community leaders and local liaisons via bilingual flyers and through an online platform, www.vaxupwestchester.org.
“#VaxUpWestchester depends on everyone, and we welcome you to join us,” Feiner said. “Become a vaccine ambassador by sharing your vaccination story or selfie wherever you are online with the hashtag #VaxUpWestchester, and we might post it on our website and social media.”
Feiner added that ideas are welcome from community members on what organizations, businesses, and individuals the town could partner with in further spreading the message. Additionally, the town invites advice on improving its website and other marketing materials at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help from a COVID Angel to secure a vaccine appointment, fill out a help-request form, call the Town Supervisor’s office at 914-989-1540 or email email@example.com with your name and phone number.