NEW YORK CITY – The state-run mass vaccination sites that helped pull New York City out of the COVID-19 pandemic may be coming to an end.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state will “scale down” mass sites and shift resources to communities with low vaccination rates.
The York College mass vaccination site in Queens will close in the first phase on Monday, according to the governor’s office.
“Our network of mass vaccination sites delivered the highest throughput of vaccinations in a short period of time, and thanks to their success, we have reached the milestones we need to cross to resume life as we know it,” said Cuomo in a statement. “Our statewide progress has been remarkable, but we still need more vaccines in people’s arms, especially in areas that are still lagging behind in immunization. We need to go where the need is greatest, and so many of our mass sites will gradually begin downscaling so that we can use our resources to target communities where immunization rates are still low. ”
The state recently affected 70% of adults who received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The milestone may have prompted Cuomo to end any remaining state mandates, but significant disparities remain as to where and who was vaccinated.
Park Slope, for example, recently reached 75 percent of its adults who received at least one dose of the vaccine. But it stands at 45% for a postcode covering Edgemere and Far Rockaway, according to city data.
The Javits Center is perhaps the most prominent state-run mass vaccination site, and one that Cuomo himself has repeatedly touted. It was not included in the first phase of closures.