• The San Juan Daily Star

NY governor lauds PR for COVID vaccination efforts

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul

By The Star Staff

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia visited the facilities of SER de Puerto Rico in San Juan late last week to observe the COVID-19 vaccination process for minors between 5 and 11 years old.

“This is the way we are going to be able to free them from using masks and the other restrictions they have,” Hochul said Friday in an aside with the press. “I want to commend Governor Pierluisi, with whom I worked when I was in Congress. I want to congratulate him for the way he has worked to address the COVID pandemic in Puerto Rico, which has high numbers in effectiveness.”

Hochul noted that one of the biggest problems that her state has faced in increasing the percentage of vaccinations is that the issue has become politicized in the mainland U.S.

“This is very important to me, because getting people vaccinated in my state is one of the first priorities and you in Puerto Rico have been successful,” she said. “Puerto Ricans have understood that this is not a political issue. I don’t know how I can do it in New York, because the philosophy is different there. But Puerto Rico has shown us the way. About 90 percent of the population is vaccinated. You can already claim victory, because you have been able to defeat COVID before many of the states.”

A total of 300 vaccines were to be administered via drive-thru during the event.

Meanwhile, island Health Secretary Dr. Carlos Mellado López insisted that “we have a huge challenge and we have many committed health professionals, such as SER of Puerto Rico, supporting vaccination efforts.”

“It is important that minors and, even more, immunocompromised minors are vaccinated so that they are protected against the virus,” he said. “The call to parents is to procure the vaccine in the traditional centers that they use.”

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