Despite being last in vaccination rates among New York City boroughs with 44 percent, the Bronx is making progress thanks to the efforts of nonprofit organization The Bronx Rising Initiative (BRI). BRI reached a significant milestone by administering its 15,000th vaccine dose on June 9 at one of Morris Height Health Center’s clinics.
Since its inception in March 2020, BRI has implemented successful initiatives, including door-to-door outreach in NYCHA housing, pop-up vaccine sites at NYCHA community centers, and collaborations with Bronx charter schools. They have also covered overhead costs for Morris Heights Health Center (MHHC), which played a crucial role in achieving this milestone.
Tomas Ramos, the founder of BRI, expressed his surprise at the organization’s impact and the tremendous loss the Bronx endured during the COVID-19 pandemic. He praised MHHC for being a supportive partner in their efforts to serve the community. MHHC’s president and CEO, Mari Millet, became emotional while reflecting on the pandemic’s early days when no one knew the meaning of COVID, and the subsequent hardships endured by healthcare workers and Bronx residents.
Although celebrating the progress made in vaccinating 15,000 people, Millet emphasized the importance of continuing vaccination efforts to protect the community and ensure the well-being of those who cannot care for themselves. The goal is to encourage more Bronx residents to get vaccinated, recognizing that vaccination remains the key to safeguarding lives and the community’s health.
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