New York will allow walk-ins at all state-run, mass vaccination sites starting Thursday.
Anyone 16 and above who is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine can be vaccinated without registering online or by phone beforehand, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday. The walk-in option will be available only for first doses; the second dose would be scheduled automatically after the first dose appointment.
Previously, walk-in vaccines were only available for older people.
“The more New Yorkers who get vaccinated, the faster we will defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild a new and better state and economy for everyone,” Cuomo said. “That’s why it’s critical for us to make the vaccine as accessible as possible and provide more opportunities for New Yorkers to get vaccinated.”
New York City has been offering a walk-in option at city-run sites since Friday.
The announcement comes as New York’s vaccine supply outstrips demand, with hundreds of appointments waiting open, the Albany Times Union reported. The ease and convenience, experts hope, will encourage people who were hesitant about the notoriously difficult online appointment registration system.
“All the obstacles are removed. All the barriers are removed. Just show up and roll up your sleeve and the mass vaccination sites have the capacity to handle you, okay?” the governor said.
Additionally, in accordance with updated CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated New Yorkers will generally not have to wear masks outdoors.
The state’s coronavirus numbers remain low; the positivity rate is 2.6%, the lowest in months.