NYC offers walk-up vaccinations for all

Northeast

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 13: People wait inside Manhattan’s Javits Center which recently opened as a COVID vaccination site on January 13, 2021 in New York City. The Javits, which had previously functioned as a field hospital last spring when New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, will now serve as a massive vaccine distribution center. Appointments will be required and only first responders, the elderly and select groups are eligible at this time. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Appointments are no longer mandatory at any of the coronavirus vaccination sites run by New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

“You can just walk up and get vaccinated,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The change comes as supplies of the vaccine have increased. Just weeks ago, most people trying to get an appointment for a vaccination in the nation’s biggest city had to game online appointment systems in which scarce slots would be snapped up in moments.

But in recent days, tens of thousands of appointments have been available at any given moment, though arranging them still requires planning and a degree of computer savvy.

A week ago the city began offering walk-up vaccinations to everyone age 50 and over. De Blasio, a Democrat, said it went well enough that the city is now doing the same for people of all ages.

“We saw really good results. Lot of people said it was the reason they came and got vaccinated. It was a lot simpler for them. And we did not have the kinds of lines we were worried about,” the mayor said.

New York state began offering walk-in shots at vaccination sites that it runs on Wednesday, but only for people age 60 or over.

Through Friday, about 40% of all New York City residents had gotten at least one vaccine dose. About 26% have been fully vaccinated.

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