Over 7M New Yorkers can get COVID-19 vaccine, but long waits remain

On Wednesday afternoon, Lyn Syd Holder became one of the first one-thousand people to get vaccinated at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

"It’s important, you don’t have a choice! It’s either this or you take the chance of getting COVID," she told FOX 5 NY.

The convention center, which functioned as a massive field hospital during the height of the pandemic, is now one of five brand new state-run COVID-19 vaccination sites.

It opened its doors to patients at 8 a.m. sharp, along with two other hubs at Westchester County Center in White Plains and the New York State Fair Expo Center in Syracuse.

Terri Thomson, who is in the "65 and older" category and just became eligible for the vaccine yesterday, says the process was simple.

"I was very lucky. Yesterday, I went on the website and was able to get an appointment for today. This was so easy. Everybody here was so helpful, the line moved quickly, the nurses were wonderful," she recalls.

Once you’re inside the 1.6 million sq. ft. building, you follow the signs to check-in, wait in line, and then get your shot at one of the hundreds of makeshift vaccine stations.

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The Javits Center is prepared to vaccinate 10,000 New Yorkers in a 12-hour period, but Dr. Howard Zucker, the NY State Health Commissioner, says there still isn’t enough supply from the federal government to accomplish that.

"More than 7 million New Yorkers are now eligible but we only get 300,000 doses a week from the federal government. And at that rate, it could take up to 6 months to vaccinate everyone currently eligible," he adds.

Another two state-run vaccination hubs are also slated to open this week: Jones Beach State Park (1/14) and SUNY Albany (1/15).

Meantime, Mayor DeBlasio says CitiField will soon become a 24-hour vaccination site and plans are being finalized to turn Yankee Stadium into one, as well.