TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
NewsHealthCoronavirus

'Just show up': Starting Friday, New Yorkers 60 and older can walk in for COVID vaccine

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday announced that

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday announced that New Yorkers 60 and older will not need an appointment in order to get a vaccine. Credit: NY Governor's Office

Starting Friday, New Yorkers 60 and older will be able to walk into some state-run mass vaccination sites without appointments and get their shots for COVID-19, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday.

"For people over 60 years old … you don't even need an appointment to get the vaccine. … Walk in and they will give you the vaccine," said Cuomo, speaking in a livestreamed event from a mass vaccination site at the Yonkers Police Athletic League Center.

He told those over 60, "you don't have to go on the internet" searching for an appointment, "you don't have to do anything. Just show up."

The 16 state mass vaccination sites where people over 60 can go without an appointment include SUNY Old Westbury and Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, according to a map Cuomo showed on a screen.

In New York City, they include the Javits Center, Yankee Stadium, York College in Jamaica, Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, and the Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park.

The change comes after many New Yorkers have gotten their shots and vaccine supply has increased, with Cuomo saying older residents will be prioritized because they are "more susceptible" to the virus.

He told state residents it is a "civic duty" to get vaccinated and sustain gains after a recent decline in virus positivity.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

"You are part of the community and if you get sick you can make somebody else sick," Cuomo said.

The daily statewide level of positivity from 202,400 test results Tuesday was 2.14%, the lowest figure since Nov. 5, according to state data.

That "is a very big deal," Cuomo said. "That means we’re back to where we were in early November, before Thanksgiving, before the whole holiday surge."

The seven-day average for the state was 2.69%, which was the lowest reported figure since Nov. 11.

The seven-day average on Long Island was 2.95%, a substantial drop from previous weeks when it hovered around or above 4%. New York City's average was 2.89%.

"The COVID numbers show that we are still making progress. All the numbers are headed in the right direction," Cuomo said, though he added that some areas such as Western New York still have high levels that need to come down.

Statewide, a total of 53 people died on Tuesday of causes related to the virus.

The number of new confirmed cases was 302 in Nassau County, 303 in Suffolk County, and 1,985 in New York City, also down from surge levels.

NYC using Moderna for at-home vaccinations

New York City has temporarily retooled its door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination program for the homebound, using Moderna instead of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, although the switch limits how many people can be quickly inoculated, officials said Wednesday.

Before its use was suspended earlier this month, while a rare blood-clotting disorder side effect is investigated, Johnson & Johnson’s shot had been used by New York City for the homebound population. It had been chosen because it is completed with one shot and it doesn’t require certain cold storage like Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which require two doses given weeks apart.

Moderna can still be used hours after it's opened, said Dr. Mitchell Katz, head of the city’s public health system.

"If you’re going to use it within six hours, it does not require that intense frozen storage. So we’re able to take a vial, plan the number of visits we’re going to have within a six-hour period and use all of the vaccine and, therefore, not require the super freezer procedures," Katz said, speaking at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily news conference.

De Blasio also said getting a vaccine, for those who want to make an appointment at an in-person vaccination center, is "now easy," after months of scarce appointments.

Meanwhile, the White House is trying to overcome diminishing demand for COVID-19 shots by making it easier for Americans to get vaccinated, even as the United States was set to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 200 million coronavirus doses in his first 100 days in office.

With more than 50% of adults at least partially vaccinated, and roughly 28 million vaccine doses being delivered each week, demand has eclipsed supply as the constraining factor to vaccinations in much of the country.

Sign up for COVID-19 text alerts at newsday.com/text.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health