WNY Mayor Calls For Vaccine Donations As Under 3% of Residents Have Received Vaccination

West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez has taken to social media to plea for assistance for his municipality.  To date, the town has vaccinated less than three percent of its residents for COVID-19 and it is making a public request for more doses of the vaccine.

The Mayor is seen in a school gymnasium in a video posted last night, both in English and in Spanish, on Facebook urging for help.  He says the town has established a vaccine distribution site, has the appropriate medical staff ready to administer the vaccines to the town’s residents, but they have no supply.

The video ends with an open letter making a plea for vaccines.  Nearly one year ago, on March 8, 2020, West New York recorded the first positive coronavirus case in Hudson County.  Now, according to Mayor Rodriguez, West New York’s death rate is twice that of the state.

The Town issued the following press release today:

Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and Board of Commissioners Issue Call for Vaccines

Open Letter To Whom It May Concern as Vaccines are Urgently Needed as Town Continues to get “Vax to Normal”

WEST NEW YORK, N.J. — Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and the Board of Commissioners are issuing a call for help to any and all organizations and companies that can enter into a collaborative effort with the municipality to supply vaccines in order to inoculate all residents.

“On March 8, 2020, the Town of West New York was the first municipality to have a positive case in the County of Hudson. Since then, we have worked diligently with the community to weather the impact of this devastating pandemic,” said Gabriel Rodriguez, Mayor of the Town of West New York. “At this juncture, as is the case around the world, we are desperately trying to secure a consistent supply of vaccinations to inoculate all our residents – while amounts to this region have increased, allocations toward our community have not. West New York deserves better and I will not rest until all residents are vaccinated.”

As of yesterday, the COVID-19 specific death rate for the Town of West New York was almost twice that of the State of New Jersey (35.82 (WNY) versus 22.87 (NJ) per 10,000). To date, we estimate that about 2.2-2.7% of our population has been vaccinated (not accounting for individuals who may have been vaccinated at a State mega site or other entity) – a figure that by any metric is unacceptable, especially against the backdrop of the aforementioned rate.

Our municipality is located in the most densely populated area in our nation with an estimated 60,000 residents in one square mile. It is imperative that we accelerate distribution to achieve herd immunity. We have a large portion of our population that is over the age of sixty-five (65+) and/or have serious health issues that fit the criteria set forth in past guidance by the State, who have indicated that they are interested in the vaccine. The Governor has provided new guidance which adds more people to the list of eligibility, an effort we applaud, but the limited quantities supplied to our community have not been adequate to fulfill the demand from individuals who fit the past guidance.

“While local and national outlets portray an image of distrust with the vaccine as a substantiating reason why underserved Americans are disproportionately under vaccinated, our pre-registration efforts highlight the opposite. As a matter of fact, there has been an overwhelming response to our pre-registration for the vaccine,” added Mayor Rodriguez. “We are ready to vaccinate our community, and our community is ready to be vaccinated, but we need vaccines now.”