Coronavirus NYC: 2 more vaccine megasites opening, state to provide busing

Coronavirus Update for New York

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Monday, February 22, 2021
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NJ Burkett has the latest on vaccination efforts in New York City.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The state is opening two more COVID vaccination sites in New York City, and beginning Wednesday, the sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens will be able to vaccinate up to 3,000 people a day.

Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the Medgar Evers site Monday, when he also announced the MTA will run enhanced bus service to connect residents of the boroughs to the two vaccination sites.

Vaccines given out at the state-run sites are by appointment only and are not part of the state's weekly allocation.

Booking opened Saturday morning for residents of the adjacent neighborhoods only. After one week, scheduling will open to all residents of the borough.

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The state will also partner with faith leaders in Brooklyn and Queens to launch a vaccination drive aimed at encouraging more members of the leaders' communities to sign up for vaccination appointments at these sites using phone banking.

Eligible New Yorkers can currently schedule appointments for the Brooklyn and Queens sites by utilizing New York's "Am I Eligible" website or by calling the state's COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

Appointments can also be made by visiting the sites beginning when they open on Wednesday.

"COVID exposed low tide in America - it revealed the unacceptable disparities and injustices that have plagued our society for decades - and New York is doing everything it can to reverse those trends in the vaccination process," Cuomo said. "Thanks to the partnership of the Biden Administration, New York has already established mass vaccination sites directly within hard hit communities in Brooklyn and Queens to ensure those areas have direct access to the vaccine. Now, we are taking that work a step further. Not only are we launching a pilot program with the MTA to provide enhanced bus services directly to these sites, but we are also partnering with local faith leaders to help connect New Yorkers with appointments and to dispel rumors and myths about the vaccine itself."

Meantime, New York City is expected to receive more vaccines after shipments were delayed by winter weather. Officials said they expect to receive 170,000 doses this week and for the following two weeks, after which they hope the supply will increase.

The city has administered 1,527,527 vaccines as of Monday morning.

Mayor Bill de Blasio toured a new vaccination site for seniors in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Sunday, though the site was only able to vaccinate 100 people due to the dwindling supply of doses.

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