Kevin Cruz — a maintenance worker at NYC Health + Hospitals, North/Central Bronx — said he recently got inoculated and is “hoping that everybody comes to take the shot.”
“To me, it’s a no brainer,” he said during a virtual news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“When you come in with the idea of, you know, ‘You don’t know what the side effects are’ — you know what the side effects of COVID are. We were filling refrigerated trucks with the side effects.”
Cruz said he suffered no side effects from his vaccination, adding, “I count myself as lucky for having gotten the shot and lucky to be able to help these people who are dealing with it every day.”
Cruz also described the pandemic as an unprecedented challenge for the Big Apple.
“I’ve been here since 1978. I was here at the beginning when AIDS was breaking out,” he said.
“We’ve been through a lot of things here, we’ve never seen anything like this.”
Cruz said the virus had “affected my family, my son, his wife, my step-daughter, her family in Florida.”
“To me, it’s not a matter if you’re gonna get it — it’s when you’re gonna get it, or someone close to you is going to get it,” he said.
The dire warning came as de Blasio announced a new public-service advertising campaign called “NYC Vaccine for All.”
Hizzoner unveiled three images of the Statue of Liberty wearing a face mask and with an adhesive bandage covering an injection site on her shoulder.
“The idea of this campaign is to let people know this [vaccine] is for everyone,” he said.
“This works for everyone, it will be free, it will be easy, it will be effective and safe…All the pain, all the suffering, all the loss can be defeated through this vaccine.”
City Hall said the ads would begin running immediately on social media and later on TV, radio, subways and digital billboards, and would include messages in more than a dozen languages.
Officials didn’t immediately respond to questions about the cost of the campaign or if specific neighborhoods would be targeted.