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To cope with demand, state opens COVID-19 vaccine center at Jones Beach

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Stony Brook University

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Stony Brook University on Dec. 29. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination center at Jones Beach started scheduling appointments Monday afternoon as state and local officials unveiled more locations on Long Island.

The site, expected to begin operations Thursday, was set to open after newly eligible New Yorkers flooded pharmacies and hospitals with calls for appointments. Many of the vaccination centers are still being set up and do not yet have a supply of doses.

State officials are encouraging people to use Jones Beach rather than smaller sites, such as local pharmacies, which may not yet have vaccines and are not equipped to handle such large numbers. They said the state is only receiving about 300,000 doses a day from the federal government.

Under state guidelines, the latest priority group, which includes first responders, teachers and people over the age of 75, became eligible for the vaccine on Monday.

The Jones Beach center will be open every day during the coming weeks, according to a state official.

Suffolk County has a vaccine distribution site at the Suffolk County Community College campus in Brentwood, which also houses the Police Academy. Law enforcement can get the vaccine at the academy starting this week. The site, however, was out of vaccine for Monday and Tuesday.

Northwell Health has partnered with officials in Nassau and Suffolk to set up nine locations: Northwell Health Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success; Northwell Health Physician Partners in Syosset; Belmont Park in Elmont; Nassau Community College in Garden City; Town of North Hempstead — Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury; Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood; South Oaks Hospital in Amityville; Peconic Bay Medical Center — Entenmann Campus in Riverhead; and Fairfield Properties Ball Park in Central Islip.

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Appointments are required to get the vaccine at all locations, and it is only available to the current priority groups. People can find out if they are eligible and book online appointments at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov.

A drive-in vaccination center at SUNY Stony Brook is set to open next week, state officials said.

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