Harlem Rep. Espaillat Joins SOMOS Community Care Doctors Urging New Yorkers To Get Holiday Vaccination

December 17, 2021

With the holiday season underway, Omicron-related cases increasing nationwide, and New Yorkers preparing for the busiest travel days of the year.

Community doctors from SOMOS Community Care – New York City’s leading network of over 2,800 diverse physicians and health care providers – and Representative Adriano Espaillat gathered today to speak out about testing access and urge unvaccinated New Yorkers to get their shots and encourage those who have been vaccinated to get boosters.

This new push comes as New York’s overall rate of COVID cases per 100,000 residents is up 58% from Thanksgiving, and the upcoming holiday season threatens to further exacerbate the current winter surge.

“While la Vacuna de Esperanza, or the Vaccine of Hope, has been nothing short of a miracle, I know many families living in low-income, immigrant communities are still experiencing doubts – and my colleagues at SOMOS and I will keep working until everyone has confidence in the vaccine,” said Dr. Ramon Tallaj, Founder and Chairman of SOMOS Community Care.“As a primary care physician serving families in the Bronx, I know that vaccine misinformation disproportionately targets these communities, which is why our community-based doctors are dedicated to debunking harmful myths through compassionate, culturally competent care. We build trust with our patients through shared cultural understanding so we can inspire vaccine confidence and equip families with the resources they need to get vaccinated and boost up. And with the holiday season upon us, I’m telling all of my patients that the best gift they can give themselves, their neighbors, and their city is getting tested and vaccinated.”

“Many of us are preparing to reunite with loved ones for the first time in nearly two years this holiday season, thanks to the Vaccine of Hope,” said Henry. R Muñoz, III, Co-founder of SOMOS US“However, this new variant and the winter spike in cases – especially among our youngest New Yorkers – are stark reminders that this pandemic is far from over. The virus is constantly evolving, and we must keep adapting as well. That’s why SOMOS is continuing to bring our innovative grassroots, culturally competent preventative care – with testing and vaccines – to those who need it most, so no community gets left behind on the road to recovery.”


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“We have come too far to turn back now and with the Omicron variant threatening to upend life once again, we cannot lose sight of our most vulnerable communities who have been disproportionately impacted since the start of this pandemic…”

“We have come too far to turn back now and with the Omicron variant threatening to upend life once again, we cannot lose sight of our most vulnerable communities who have been disproportionately impacted since the start of this pandemic,” said Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “As New Yorkers are doubling down on testing and vaccinating, I remain committed to working with my congressional colleagues to ensure support of community-based doctors like SOMOS physicians who are the key to ensuring all of our communities have access to the culturally competent care we need.”

SOMOS is committed to continuing efforts to encourage New York’s low-income, immigrant communities of color to stay vigilant and put their health, and that of their loved ones, first this holiday season.

This message is especially important for parents and children, as only 22.3% of kids aged 5 to 11 in New York City are fully vaccinated.

This message is especially important for parents and children, as only 22.3% of kids aged 5 to 11 in New York City are fully vaccinated.

Coupled with the Omicron variant – which has been detected at 13% in New York and New Jersey, compared to the national average of 3% – it’s crucial that no community gets left behind in the campaign to test, vaccinate, and boost all New Yorkers.

Since the pandemic’s start, SOMOS Community Care – NYC’s leading network of Black, Latino, and Asian community doctors – has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in New York and beyond.

SOMOS’s 2,800 physicians have administered over 1.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at sites ranging from landmarks like Yankee Stadium and Grand Central Terminal to doctors’ offices and public housing developments.

In late November, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City would expand its $100 vaccine incentive to cover those who are vaccinated at SOMOS physicians’ offices.

SOMOS stands ready to continue expanding testing and vaccination efforts across the city.

SOMOS Community Care and SOMOS US form the foundation of an innovative, value-based care network of over 2,800 diverse physicians and health care providers serving nearly 1 million people in New York City.

SOMOS has created a new model of quality, preventative health care on behalf of the most underserved communities of the United States, a model based on cultural competency, increased access, and the ability of community-based medicine to successfully address the social determinants of health.

SOMOS is the shared vision of Dr. Ramon Tallaj and Henry R. Muñoz, III, a doctor, and a designer, working together to create institutional change.

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