Syracuse Community Health Center & 100 Black Men of Syracuse announce major vaccination effort for urban neighborhoods
Syracuse NY – Urban Syracuse is facing a critical public health challenge. Resistance to vaccination is persistent. Positive test rates for Central New York are nearly twice the state average, and in our city’s neighborhoods even higher, while restaurants and retail businesses are reopening rapidly. Fear of vaccination is deeply ingrained in America’s minority community. Communications with isolated residents lacking computers and transport is difficult. Something must be done.
Building on the success of last summer’s “COVID: Don’t Bring It Home” campaign, a broad community partnership led by the Syracuse Community Health Center and 100 Black Men of Syracuse has answered the call. They are mounting an innovative and ambitious public health effort called the “Syracuse Community Health Family Health Picnics”. These Sunday afternoon events will tour city parks throughout the summer months to pursue multiple goals: overcome fear, fight misinformation, provide equitable health care access, bring isolated urban residents together, lift spirits, provide family health service information, and most importantly, vaccinate urban residents.
The series will travel with a mobile vaccination and testing unit and feature exciting live music by national and regional acts, a health care village, inspirational speakers, and minority arts & crafts vendors. Major prizes, raffles, and other incentives will be offered to those being vaccinated, and every family in attendance will receive a goodie bag filled with public health information and incentives. Families will be able to bring blankets, lawn chairs, baskets, and coolers, and enjoy their afternoons in individually marked lawn spaces.
“The best way to give people the protection they need from COVID-19 is to bring information and services to where they are. The Syracuse Community Health Center Family Health Picnics are just the kind of partnership we need to increase vaccination rates and keep people in the city healthy,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “I thank Syracuse Community Health, CNY Jazz, 100 Black Men of Syracuse and all the other sponsors for helping us beat back COVID-19. And I encourage all of Syracuse to enjoy these great events in our city parks this summer.”