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Houses of Worship apply to be vaccine sites

Posted at 7:49 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 19:49:42-04

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Houses of Worship can now apply to become vaccine hubs, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

This is welcome news for Temple Beth Tzedek in Williamsville.

“It would really make a difference for people not to have to worry about where to go,” said Marcia Goldstein, who is the President of the Williamsville Temple.

Goldstein has been a pharmacist for more than 40 years. With her experience, she says she’s been helping people get shots for months.

“I was spending hours a day finding my elderly congregants and people shots,” she said. “It was very difficult.”

Goldstein says after Cuomo’s announcement, she went right on to apply for the Temple to become a vaccine hub.

The governor’s “roll up your sleeve” campaign calls on religious leaders of all faiths to partner with the state to establish vaccine sites. The state says it has over 200 houses of worship state-wide ready to serve.

In order to make it happen, houses of worship must partner with a local physician who will administer the shots.

Dr. Raul Vazquez of Urban Family Practice says he’s ready and able.

“They come in and our people register them, take their eligibility,” he said.

Then, information about the vaccine is distributed, blood pressure is taken and shots are administered. Vazquez says it’s all about trust.

“When you look at the Black and Brown community, churches are on top, then doctors, then government,” he says.

“When all else fails, houses of worship have always been there for us,” said Reverend Diann Holt of Buffalo. “Everyone’s aware of a church somewhere in their community. If you feed them, they will come,” she said.

If you would like to apply for this vaccine site, or volunteer as a medical professional click here.