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Astoria Houses gets temporary medical care unit –

Local leaders and elected officials unveiled the new temporary medical care unit that will provide free COVID-19 vaccines and testing at Astoria Houses on Thursday, April 14.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney secured the 40-foot-long repurposed shipping container for the medical care unit by working with developers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the city and state of New York, the New York City Housing Authority and other key players. players.

The unit is operated by Floating Hospital, a New York charity hospital that provides health care to anyone in need. The site will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Maloney lobbied for this testing and vaccination site due to lack of COVID resources near Astoria homes. Currently, there is only one permanent vaccination site within half a mile of Astoria Houses and two in the entire 11102 ZIP code.

“Until everyone in this city, in this country, has affordable access to basic health care, we are not completely free or equal,” Maloney said. “Let us work towards a more perfect and healthier union.

Maloney attributes this lack of access to high rates of Cases of COVID-19 in the region, more than double those of Queens and New York. from Astoria the case rate is 30,511, compared to rates for Queens, which is 13,353 and New York’s rate of 12,611.

“Health care is and should always be a human right,” Maloney said. “This hasn’t been more evident than in the past two years as we grappled with the coronavirus pandemic and millions of people were unable to access COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.”

Governor Kathy Hochul attended the launch of the medical center sharing that she is grateful that Maloney has been so advocating for this project.

“We need to make sure that New York’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is inclusive, fair and just,” Hochul said. “That’s why it’s so important to have sites like this new medical care unit at Astoria Houses, bringing much-needed resources and services to communities that have been left behind for far too long. I am grateful to the hard-working medical professionals who will ensure local residents have tests and vaccines. »

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people of color throughout the pandemic, which leaders acknowledged during the unveiling at the Astoria Houses.

“This pandemic has demonstrated that there are systemic disparities in access to health care and therefore in health care outcomes,” Hochul said.

Reuters found in a study that the predominantly white neighborhood of Gramercy Park in Manhattan had a rate of 31 deaths per 100,000 population. In Far Rockaway, which is over 40% black, the death rate is nearly 15 times higher: 444 deaths per 100,000 population.

NYCHA President and CEO Greg Russ said the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of bringing health care to as many communities as possible.

“We are grateful to Congressman Maloney and the Floating Hospital for working with us to establish this testing and vaccination clinic – which will ensure the continued health and safety of public housing residents is a top priority” , said Russ.

Former Astoria Houses Residents Association president Claudia Coger has lived in Astoria for 68 years and said she saw the extent of neglect in her community, but thanked Maloney for her action.

“We hope it will be a healthy community,” Coger said. “Children will stay healthy and stay in school. Thank you, Carolyn, she wasted no time in bringing this success.

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