Jan 22, 2021
A Brownsville hospital is offering vaccines without appointments
Brookdale sidestepped the appointment system used by the city’s other hospitals, and now non-residents are taking advantage
When Brookdale University Medical Center in Brownsville opened their vaccine site up to all comers, it sidestepped the traditional appointment system used by the city’s other hospitals. The line, although hours long, is open to anyone over the age of 65 or working in an eligible profession.
The idea is to provide an alternative in the midst of a botched vaccine rollout by offering equitable access—and to normalize the vaccine in the community. While they don’t turn people away, phone operators are instructed to discourage people from outside Brownsville to join the line. According to Gothamist, however, some folks have traveled in from surrounding neighborhoods and counties.
Like other minority neighborhoods across the country, Covid-19 hit Brownsville, which is 95 percent Black and Latino, harder than others. Brookdale has been recruiting local patients by texting, calling and working with community organizations.
“Brown and Black people of central Brooklyn who’ve been dying of Covid at disproportionate rates—they’re our top priority,” LaRay Brown, president and CEO of One Brooklyn Health, Brookdale’s parent network, told Gothamist. “It’s a great thing to see such an enthusiastic response.”