Coronavirus Update NYC: Amid push to get Harlem protected, Melba's hosts mobile vaccination site

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Saturday, August 28, 2021
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The neighborhood has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city and a large Black population, a community in which vaccine hesitancy remains high.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City partnered with Melba's Restaurant on a mobile vaccination site in hopes of encouraging more Harlem residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The neighborhood has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city and a large Black population, a community in which vaccine hesitancy remains high.

Less than half of all Harlem residents are fully vaccinated, comparatively, in nearby Hell's Kitchen nearly all residents are.

Health experts say the push to vaccinate is more important than ever as the delta variant spreads.

To sweeten the deal, Melba's Restaurant offered free "Grandma Mea's Sweet Potato Pie" to the first 100 participants.

"Too many people in our community are dying because they are not vaccinated, we are leaders in the community and are hoping that people look at us, if you don't trust the science, trust us," said owner Melba Wilson.

Shyla Velez was the first person to get a dose of the Pfizer vaccine outside the restaurant.

She said after being indecisive, she decided she had to move with the changes and if Melba got and it survived, she figured they would all survive.

The hope is to reverse the course -- one shot at a time.

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