By Elisheva Miller
With New York opening up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to adults 16 years and older, Yeshiva University has become one of the many sites designated to administer the highly demanded vaccine. This Washington Heights site is one of the five newly-opened sites in New York City, according to Mayor de Blasio. As described in an email from YU on April 5, the YU administration has been very motivated to slow the spread of COVID-19 and stated, “as part of our mission, we are always looking for ways to help the community at large, especially during these unprecedented times.”
After offering their campus to the city of New York to administer vaccines, YU has announced on Tuesday April 7 that their request was granted. The Weissberg Commons in Belfer Hall on the Wilf Campus has become an official NYC vaccine site. It is expected that the newly opened vaccine site will remain active through the start of the summer. Located on YU’s uptown campus, the vaccine distribution is limited to Sunday through Friday, pausing to administer the vaccine on Saturdays or Jewish Holidays. They will be administering the Pfizer vaccine, a two dose vaccine, spaced twenty one days apart. According to the CDC, one is only considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose.
At this time, all appointments to receive the first dose, for those who are fully unvaccinated, are unavailable. More first dose appointments should become available, as this site will be open for many months, so all who are seeking the vaccine will have the opportunity to become vaccinated and join the fight against COVID-19.
One student, Eliana Lebowitz (SCW ‘23), shared that “I think it’s amazing that YU has decided to use its resources to help the community at large by using its campus to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine. This is just one example of YU’s willingness to step up and take responsibility in ensuring the wellbeing of others, which is a characteristic that YU consistently demonstrates.”
Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of YU stated to the YU Observer that “as part of our mission, we are always looking for ways to help the community at large, especially during these unprecedented times. This includes opening our campus to the city’s historic COVID vaccination effort and contributing to greater vaccine access and health equity for Northern Manhattan residents. The establishment of this site is due to our partnership with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa and Congressmember Adriano Espaillat, as well as Eric Goldstein and the UJA who are helping coordinate our outreach to Holocaust survivors and other vulnerable populations.”
CEO of Centers Urgent Care S. Scott Orlanski claimed that “we are extremely privileged to be able to partner with the City at the Yeshiva University vaccination site in order to keep the community safe from this challenging pandemic. Centers Urgent Care is in business to provide the best possible care for the community and providing this vaccine is a vital effort that we are proud to be a part of.”
Although YU will be a location of vaccine administration, YU has no part in the vaccine distribution process. Centers Urgent Care is managing the site on behalf of New York City; therefore, YU will not be handling the appointments. If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, an appointment can be made at https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/ or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC.