By MIKE LEE
The early spring weather was sunny, appropriate for the occasion as hundreds of DC 37 members joined other New Yorkers to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a “Vaccination Day” event held at Citi Field, in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
The event, heavily promoted by the union in social media and on www.dc37.net drew more than 500 union members to get the life-saving vaccine at the home stadium of the New York Mets on March 27.
DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido spoke of the importance of the “Vaccination Day” event, which is part of an ongoing effort to vaccinate tens of thousands of DC 37 members.
“In honor of the more than 200 DC 37 members who died from COVID-19, we pledged we would do everything possible to protect them and their families, get benefits for those who passed away and to protect those living and continue to provide public services,” said Garrido.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke at the event. “It has to be a recovery for all of us, and that means our city workers getting vaccinated. The people have been our heroes, getting what they need to be safe for the families to be safe,” de Blasio said.
Since many of New York City’s essential public workers are expected to return to work in their offices in May, the union is moving quickly to meet the demand that all DC 37 members are vaccinated against COVID-19. The union estimates that 20,000 members have taken at least one dose of the three vaccines currently available in New York City.
The union effort includes an initiative launched on March 22 for union members to allow DC 37 staffers to make vaccination appointments on their behalf. Active DC 37 members may fill out this form for a union representative to assist in booking an appointment.
Starting this week, DC 37 staff are making appointments for members, which will continue until all DC 37 members are vaccinated.
The campaign included a Facebook Live event, hosted jointly with 32BJ SEIU, on March 25. Garrido joined SEIU President Kyle Bragg, Dr. Torian Esterling, Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and AdvantageCare Physicians President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Navarra Rodriguez to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine and answer members’ questions and concerns.
Earlier in March, both Garrido and Bragg were vaccinated at a live event in an effort to encourage their members to get the vaccine.