Two more mass COVID-19 vaccination sites opened in New York City Wednesday — promising to deliver more doses than any other in the Big Apple.
The sites at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College and York College in Queens, a joint partnership between the state and federal governments, are designed to deliver 3,000 shots a day — to neighborhoods with low vaccination rates.
Kapil Bawa, a 62-year-old CUNY professor, who was inoculated at Medgar Evers called the Crown Heights venue a “godsend” — noting that he’d been trying to get an appointment for the vaccine for two weeks to no avail.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to know that I’m not going to be at that much risk anymore. That’s the best thing about it,” the educator said.
Slots to get jabbed at both sites – which are run by the state and FEMA — quickly filled up and by the afternoon, the next available appointments at the facilities were in March, according to a state Web site to make appointments.
For the first week of appointments, vaccines are reserved for residents of nearby zip codes with low vaccination rates. Appointments will then be opened up to all residents of each borough.
City data released late last month revealed a racial disparity in who has been receiving vaccines. In Crown Heights, just 4 percent of adults have received one dose.
Crucially, locals can show up to the new sites to make an appointment in person — an option that isn’t available at other city or state-run locations, much to the annoyance of many who’ve grappled with their convoluted sign-up websites.
“I just walked in today and get my appointment. I had no problem. I’m very happy. I’m looking to live,” said D. Whitaker, 65, who will be back at Medgar Evers on March 6 to get inoculated.
“It was very easy,” Whitaker said of the process, “It was quick. They ask you the standard application questions about yourself. They ask for your zip code, ID.”
But at least one local said he found the on-site system was also poorly run.
“They are disorganized,” griped Anthony Waters, 66 — though he eventually got registered for a shot on Feb. 26.
“I think it’s a shame how these people are supposed to represent the government and they are running around like their heads are where their behinds are supposed to be.”
At Medgar Evers College, FEMA spokesman Carr McKay urged anyone who has the ability to register themselves for an appointment to do so “in order to make everything run a little more efficiently.”
“It helps us better assist those folks who need help registering and it also makes the process go a little quicker for when you are getting vaccinated,” McKay said.