All New Yorkers who are at least 16 years old will be able to receive the coronavirus vaccine on April 6, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
On Tuesday, all New Yorkers at least 30 years old were able to begin making appointments to receive inoculations, with vaccine distribution continuing to ramp up. Cuomo announced that more than nine million vaccine doses had been administered throughout the state as of Wednesday.
“As we continue to expand eligibility, New York will double down on making the vaccine accessible for every community to ensure equity, particularly for communities of color who are too often left behind,” Cuomo said. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but until we get there it is more important than ever for each and every New Yorker to wear a mask, socially distance and follow all safety guidelines.”
The Nassau Coliseum opened its doors to give coronavirus vaccinations last week, making it the fourth mass vaccination site to open on Long Island in the last three weeks. The others are SUNY Old Westbury, the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University and the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College.
The Coliseum opened as a mass site after calls from the County Legislature to increase places for Nassau residents who wanted to receive the vaccine. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said last week was the “soft launch” of the Coliseum’s opening as a vaccination center, but she hopes that the facility can administer 350 to 400 daily inoculations when it ramps up. The Coliseum, she said, has the capacity to conduct around 1,000 daily inoculations.
With state and federal officials hinting at increased vaccination distribution throughout New York in the coming weeks, Curran cited the importance of having as many facilities as possible to get needles in the arms of county residents quickly and effectively.
“At the beginning of the distribution of the vaccines, there was a real problem of supply and demand,” Curran said last week. “The demand is still higher than the supply at this point, but it’s getting closer together. It’s really important to have as many vaccination sites as we can.”
While the state’s distribution efforts are able to handle more vaccinations, some senior citizens still say they are having trouble scheduling appointments to get their first shots.
Curran stressed the importance for seniors to be able to schedule vaccination appointments but said she is also in favor of expanding eligibility as more inoculations are distributed in the state.
“Seniors are the most vulnerable and it is really important they get appointments, but I do believe that as supply opens up, opening up eligibility makes sense as well,” Curran said. “I am a fan of opening up eligibility, especially as we get more supply.”
All vaccinations at the Coliseum and other county sites require appointments, and they can be scheduled by visiting https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/vaccine.
As of Wednesday, more than 303,000 Nassau County residents had completed their vaccine series, with 489,000 receiving at least one dose, according to state figures.