New York to open vaccination pop-ups at airports for visitors, locals

New York to open vaccination pop-ups at airports for visitors, locals
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New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Arizona recount to show Trump's loss by even wider margin Former co-worker accuses Chris Cuomo of sexual harassment in NYT essay NY health chief criticized over state's COVID-19 response resigns MORE (D) this week announced the addition of seven new pop-up vaccination sites at airports across the Empire State in an effort to increase the number of individuals vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The vaccine sites, which will remain open from May 24 to May 28, will offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no prior appointments required, according to a press release from Cuomo's office

The seven airports participating in the pop-up vaccine drive include JFK, LaGuardia and Albany, and non-New York residents traveling through can also walk in to sites to get the shot. 

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The governor said the state was launching the program following the success of its pop-up sites at MTA station stops throughout the New York City, Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions. 

"Our vaccination pop-up sites have been instrumental in helping us reach more New Yorkers who need to get vaccinated, and given the success of our pilot program at subway and train stations across the MTA network, we are getting creative once more by bringing the vaccine to our airports," Cuomo said in a statement on Thursday. 

"This vaccine is the best weapon that we have to defeat COVID, and we will go anywhere we need to get more shots into people's arms,” he added. “If you are traveling through or working at one of these airports or just happen to be passing through and you still need to get vaccinated, I encourage you to make time to get your shot so we can finally defeat this virus." 

New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy (D), who chairs the state senate’s transportation committee, said in a statement included in the press release that the pop-up vaccine sites “will only amplify opportunities to get vaccinated, and further educate people about why it's so important to do so.” 

"New York continues to think outside the box in order to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is accessible in every community,” he added. "By bringing these doses directly into transportation hubs that people use every day, we're intentionally dedicating resources to highly trafficked facilities and connecting directly with people looking to receive the vaccine quickly and efficiently."

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The airport vaccine drive marks Cuomo’s latest effort to encourage New Yorkers to get the jab as supply now outpaces demand for the shot across the country. 

Late last month, the governor announced that all state-run mass vaccination sites would be open to walk-in appointments for New Yorkers aged 16 and older. 

Cuomo at the time also encouraged all vaccine providers in the state, including local health departments that operate local and county sites, to allow walk-in appointments for all eligible New Yorkers. 

As of Saturday, about 52 percent of New York’s population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with roughly 44 percent fully vaccinated, according to New York Department of Health data.