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New York City opens all city-run vaccination sites to walk-ins

New York City opens all city-run vaccination sites to walk-ins
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All vaccination sites run by the city of New York will be open for walk-in appointments effective today, Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill Trump Organization sues NYC for canceling golf course contract Adams, Wiley lead field in NYC mayoral primary: poll MORE (D) announced Friday.

In addition, de Blasio said there will be no geographic restrictions at any of the sites.

"Let's face it, convenience matters to New Yorkers," de Blasio said during a press conference.  

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"We think this approach is exactly right for this point as we continue to move forward. A lot of people just want it to be convenient and easy," de Blasio said.

The mayor said he is urging federally-run community health centers to allow walk-in appointments as well. 

He added that the city is also encouraging private physicians to reach out to their patients individually.

"Let them know it's free, let them know it's effective, let them know it's easier than ever. We think that personal contact is going to make a huge difference," de Blasio said.

The mayor said supply of vaccines has finally come into balance with demand, at least for a few weeks, but cautioned there's still a "long road ahead." 

"We're going to have ample supply, but we intend to reach millions more people, and I think the more new approaches we bring in, the more people will want to come forward," de Blasio said.

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Public health experts have stated that opening mass vaccination sites to walk-ins is an important step to take, as nationwide demand for vaccines has started to wane amid a ramping up of supply. 

The city initially launched a pilot walk-in program for New Yorkers aged 75 and older. The mayor expanded that program to all New Yorkers over the age of 50 beginning last week.

The announcement comes after New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFoo Fighters, Dave Chapelle cover 'Creep' at first MSG show since pandemic Katie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House New York City moving thousands of people from hotels back to shelters MORE (D) earlier this week said state-run vaccination sites will open today to walk-ins for people over the age of 60.

The state’s previous policy had required everyone eligible for the vaccine to search online for available vaccine appointment slots.