SUNY Old Westbury will open its doors to New Yorkers seeking the coronavirus vaccine on Friday as eligibility to receive inoculations once again expanded throughout the state on Wednesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the SUNY Old Westbury site is one of three mass vaccination sites that will open on Friday. The other two sites are the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University and the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College. The three sites will be permitted to schedule appointments as early as Wednesday, with the first appointments being Friday at 8 a.m.
“The single most effective vaccination mechanism is what we call a mass vaccination site,” Cuomo said Monday. “It is one large facility capable of doing thousands, in some cases keep them open 24 hours a day. From what we call a through-put from just getting needles in arms, these mass sites are the most effective. There’s going to be one here.”
Cuomo announced that vaccination sites throughout the state will be permitted to vaccinate any New Yorker who is eligible to receive the vaccine beginning on Wednesday.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced last week that the Nassau Coliseum will be turned into a mass vaccination site later this month. The announcement came after calls from the Nassau County Legislature to convert the venue into an inoculation center since January.
“We’re focused on continuing to ramp up our capacity for vaccination as more supply is anticipated to arrive in the coming weeks,” Curran said. “All of our residents must have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, and this iconic site will gives us the ability to deliver the vaccine rapidly.”
Cuomo said last week that the initial order of anyone at least 65 years of age being eligible to receive the vaccine would be lowered to 60. The eligibility was officially expanded to public-facing government and public employees along with essential in-person and public-facing building employees on Wednesday. Examples of these employees include child service workers, DMV workers, county clerks, election workers and building service workers.
“These are the people who are the everyday heroes who are out there doing their job,” Cuomo said. “They’re putting themselves in a possible position of exposure. They are essential for us to continue operating.”
As of Wednesday, more than 214,000 Nassau County residents had completed their vaccine series, with 379,000 receiving at least one dose, according to state figures. Throughout Long Island, more than 289,000 had completed their series, with more than 520,000 receiving at least one shot so far.