As eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine was expanded to any New Yorker at least 16 years old on Tuesday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced that half of the county’s adult population had received at least one inoculation as of Wednesday.
The county currently has the highest percentage of residents, 40 percent, who have received at least one dose of the vaccine in counties throughout the state with a population greater than 400,000, state figures show. A total of 54 percent of the county’s adult population has received at least one shot, according to state figures.
“The County has been leading the State in vaccinations and we will continue to move full speed ahead to get our residents protected against this deadly virus,” Curran said. “The vaccine is our passport back to normal and we have been building up infrastructure as both supply and eligibly increase.”
On Tuesday, Curran attended the first day of a two-day pop-up vaccination event at Temple Beth-El in Great Neck, with 500 Nassau residents receiving inoculations on Tuesday and another 500 on Wednesday. The pop-up vaccination site was a combined partnership of the state and Northwell Health.
“The opening of vaccine eligibility to all residents marks a new chapter in our battle to end the pandemic. Simply put, the vaccine will give us the freedom to return to our normal lives,” Curran said. “With additional demand incoming, Nassau is ready to swiftly administer shots in the arms of residents as quickly as supply allows us.”
Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral said he was “extremely proud” of the event and touted the work of village Clerk-Treasurer Abraham Cohan, Director of Public Affairs Karen Gree, and Deputy Clerk Bryan Rivera for their work in registering eligible people prior to the pop-up site opening on Tuesday.
“I know that Abraham and Bryan were on the phone until the wee hours of the night registering people both nights, so kudos to you guys,” Bral said Tuesday. “We were able to distribute 500 vaccines in about five hours, which is record time in our county.”
Three teenagers at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park were among the first to receive the vaccine in the newly expanded eligibility on Tuesday, including 16-year-old Hanna Riva Goldberg of Great Neck.
“Being vaccinated will make it so much easier for our youngsters to get back to their normal lives,” said Dr. Sophia Jan, chief of general pediatrics at the medical center. “Not only will they be able to get back to school and their social activities, but the important things like hugging their parents and visiting their grandparents … We can start thinking about these things again.”
According to state figures, nearly 550,000 Nassau County residents had received at least one vaccination dose, with more than 357,000 receiving their full series of shots as of Wednesday.