NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that beginning April 29 all New York state mass vaccination sites will be open to those age 16 and older for walk-in vaccination on a first come, first serve basis for all.
The walk-ins are reserved for first doses only with second doses to be scheduled automatically after administration of the initial shot.
"You don't have to call, you don't have to make an appointment," Cuomo said. "Just show up and roll up your sleeves, and the mass vaccinations sites have capacity to handle."
Additionally, all vaccine providers are encouraged to likewise allow walk-ins and for eligible New Yorkers.
"The more New Yorkers who get vaccinated, the faster we will defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild a new and better state and economy for everyone," Cuomo said. "That's why it's critical for us to make the vaccine as accessible as possible and provide more opportunities for New Yorkers to get vaccinated. This new accommodation means any eligible adult will be able to walk into any mass vaccination site and walk out with a shot in arm, eliminating the need to make an appointment online or by phone. We'll continue to work 24/7 to get the vaccine to communities across the state so everyone can benefit."
The announcement adds to New York State's ongoing efforts to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible.
On April 23, the governor announced five new pop-up vaccination sites that will take walk-ins for New York City bodega, grocery store and supermarket workers.
The sites, which will be located in all five boroughs, will each receive a total of 400 doses for the duration of their existence, including doses set aside for the workers.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said as final exams approach and many students prepare to move home for the summer, "we are thankful that New York State is expanding vaccination options for students, making it easy for them to get fully vaccinated-no matter what logistical, geographic, or scheduling hurdles stand in their way."
"Beginning Thursday, New Yorkers 16 and up can walk-in with no appointment at any state-run mass vaccination site-a policy shift that will go a long way in getting our students protected from this virus and restoring normalcy this fall." Malatras said.
On April 23, mass vaccination sites started to accept walk-ins for individuals age 60 and older. There may be a wait for those opting to walk-in at some sites depending on demand.
Additionally, all proof of identity and insurance information, if applicable, will be needed.
Cuomo also announced that the state will adopt the CDC's new mask guidance for outdoors.
"The CDC announced today new guidance saying for New Yorkers, Americans, who are fully vaccinated," he said. "When you are outside, biking, hiking running, or in small gatherings, you don't need to wear to mask if you are full vaccinated. One shot of Johnson & Johnson, two shots of Pfizer or Moderna, but they are saying you don't need to wear a mask.
The governor say that it is "liberating," especially now that the weather is getting warmer.
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