MTA to increase bus service to Medgar Evers College ahead of mass-vax site opening

medgar evers college
Gov. Cuomo toured the vaccination site at Medgar Evers College on Monday, Feb. 22.
Seth Wenig/Pool via REUTERS

Beefed-up bus service will help transport eligible Brooklynites to the new vaccine mega-site at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights, state officials announced Monday.

As part of an effort to increase vaccination rates in central Brooklyn, which has among the lowest vaccination rates in the city, the B49 bus route will add more vehicles to its fleet, providing easier and more frequent access to the site, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. 

Officials will also enlist local clergy members to make phone calls to those eligible for the shot, giving them details on appointments and encouraging them to get inoculated.

The site at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights, which is set to open on Feb. 24, can administer up to 3,000 shots a day, making it one of the biggest sites in New York State. Appointments at the college are only open to a number of zip codes in the surrounding area of central and eastern Brooklyn, where vaccination rates are lower on average.

Eligible zip codes include 11207, 11212, 11208, 11206, 11233, 11213, 11221, 11226, 11236, 11216, 11225, 11210, 11203, and 11238, according to the state.

“This vaccine can save your life, and it can save the lives of others…but the vaccine only works if people take it,” Cuomo said. “Please, please, please, take the vaccine.”

The mass vaccine site on Bedford Avenue between Crown and Montgomery Streets is staffed by a partnership between the state and federal governments, with doses coming from federal allocations earmarked for “socially vulnerable communities.” 

The city and state have worked to increase access to the vaccine in Black communities in recent weeks in light of data showing the vaccine rollout reaching Black communities slower than others.

Those efforts have included a new vaccination site in Brownsville and the opening of vaccine clinics in public housing complexes. 

“The governor heard our call and he put this vaccine center right in the heart of our communities,” said Brownsville Assemblymember Latrice Walker on Monday. “We know that this vaccine will end this crisis… I encourage residents in the qualifying areas for this site to come down and get the vaccine.” 

To book an appointment, go to www.vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 1-877-VAX-4NYC.