New York, NY — On Wednesday, Jan. 13, eligible frontline workers of the MTA workforce received their first round of coronavirus vaccinations.
An advance MTA memo released on Monday said, “The State is setting up one of its first vaccinations at the Javits Center, which will open on Wednesday, and has allocated a select number of shots to the MTA operating workforce. Agency leads will be reaching out and identifying eligible frontline workers at this State distribution site.”
Some 126 MTA employees were scheduled to receive their vaccinations on Wednesday.
TWU Local 100 encouraged its workers to get vaccinated. In a statement on their website, union leadership said, “Local 100 members are now eligible for vaccines against COVID-19. Local 100 insisted that transit workers be given priority status – and we were. Your union leadership urges you to get vaccinated to protect yourself, your family, your co-workers and your community. Together, we can stop the spread.”
One of the first to get the vaccine on Wednesday was Bus Operator Abid Khan. His mother died of COVID 10 days ago. He is a TWU Local 100 member, from the Michael J. Quill Depot in the Clinton neighborhood of Manhattan.
Maria Diaz, a Bus Operator and TWU Local 100 member in the Downhill Depot in the Bronx, was another recipient. The 38-year-old has been on the job for eight years.
“I think it’s very important for myself because I want to keep working and be safe,” Diaz told LaborPress. “I deal with a lot of people daily. I have a family at home. My mother, who is 62, lives with us. [She is not yet eligible for the vaccine.]”
When asked about the experience of being vaccinated at the Javits Center, Diaz said, “They were very organized. Everything was set up. It was very quick, less than fifteen minutes I would say.”
Diaz has a follow-up appointment for her second vaccination on February 3. “They helped us with all of that,” she added. “There were a lot of people there [but I felt safe].”