No appointment needed at COVID vaccination sites run by NYC

Appointments are no longer mandatory at any of the coronavirus vaccination sites run by New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

"We want to make it simple," said de Blasio during a briefing from City Hall. "You can go to any city-run site-- Health and Hospitals, Department of Health-- any site.   You can go there and get a shot it doesn't matter where you live."

The newest site: the American Museum of Natural History.

The change comes as supplies of the vaccine have increased. Just weeks ago, most people trying to get an appointment for a vaccination in the nation’s biggest city had to game online appointment systems in which scarce slots would be snapped up in moments.

But in recent days, tens of thousands of appointments have been available at any given moment, though arranging them still requires planning and a degree of computer savvy.

A week ago the city began offering walk-up vaccinations to everyone age 50 and over. De Blasio, a Democrat, said it went well enough that the city is now doing the same for people of all ages.

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"We saw really good results. A lot of people said it was the reason they came and got vaccinated," the mayor said. "It was a lot simpler for them. And we did not have the kinds of lines we were worried about."

New York state began offering walk-in shots at vaccination sites that it runs on Wednesday, but only for people age 60 or over.

Through Friday, about 40% of all New York City residents had gotten at least one vaccine dose. About 26% have been fully vaccinated.

The total number of doses administered as of Friday morning was 6,004, 406.

With The Associated Press.