Transit officials on Tuesday announced plans to administer a thousand COVID-19 vaccines per week to transit workers out of the New York City Transit Authority’s headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.
The launch of the MTA’s first on-site vaccination hub is part of the agency’s ongoing effort to get its workforce protected from the deadly virus, which caused worker shortages and service disruptions in March and April.
More than 140 transit employees have died from the virus, according to official figures. Speaking at a press conference at the Livingston Street injection site on Tuesday, MTA Chairman Pat Foye urged workers to look past any hesitancy and get protected.
“We recognize that some of our colleagues may be hesitant about getting the vaccine, but the data has been quite clear,” he said.
“The CDC and other public health experts agree that the available vaccines are safe and effective at minimizing the risk of illness.”
Foye, who himself caught the bug last March, received his first vaccine dose immediately following the press conference.
Vaccinations will be available at 130 Livingston St. Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., officials said. All MTA employees are eligible to receive shots at the site.
Over 10,000 of the MTA’s 70,000 or so employees have been vaccinated so far. But only a “small fraction” have told the agency they are not interested in getting the shot, Foye said.
Thousands of transit workers missed work in March and April as the COVID-19 pandemic first raged through New York City. Caught off-guard, transit officials were forced to cancel as many as 40 percent of scheduled trains on some days.
“The main thing that I wanted to accomplish with getting the vaccine is I want to see my mother,” said transit worker Robert Worthy, who spoke at the press conference alongside Foye.
“My mother is 84 years old, and I haven’t been able to give her a hug in a year. I’m looking forward to doing that. More so, I’m looking forward to getting a hug from her.”