All New Yorkers 16 years old and older will be allowed to walk into any state-run vaccination site starting Thursday and receive a vaccine without an appointment, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
“All the barriers are removed,” Cuomo said. “Just go up and roll up your sleeves and the mass vaccination sites have the capacity to handle it.”
All local health departments that operate local and county sites also will have the option to open up vaccination sites to walk-ins without appointments if they choose.
According to Cuomo, fewer people are going in to receive their vaccines over recent weeks. The state was administering about 175,000 vaccine doses every 24 hours statewide. That number has now slowed to about 115,000 vaccine doses administered every 24 hours.
“This is our way of saying, if you were intimidated by the process of trying to make an appointment, that's gone,” Cuomo said. “No appointment needed, come in and get a vaccine.”
Almost 45% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine to date. Also around 33% of New Yorkers are now completely vaccinated.
Counties across the state are also starting to see a dwindling number of New Yorkers jumping at the chance to get vaccinated, so many have started their own outreach efforts.
On Tuesday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced the “shot and chaser” program. Those that get vaccinated will receive a voucher for a beer at a local brewery.
In Broome County, COVID vaccine supply has also started to surpass demand.
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar recently was offering up free Jim Roma’s Bakery sandwiches and chips to encourage people to get vaccinated at an American Legion.
Cuomo also announced that New York will be adopting the CDC guidance that will allow fully vaccinated New Yorkers to take off their masks outside, except for in congregate settings.
"That is liberating, especially now that the weather is getting warmer," Cuomo says