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

Coronavirus update for NYC
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.

national geographic covid newsletter sign up

ALSO READ | How NYC schools will handle COVID breakouts
EMBED More News Videos

New York City's public school buildings will remain open if there are positive COVID-19 cases and only those who are unvaccinated will have to quarantine if exposed to a positive c


New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Submit a News Tip or Question
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.