New York Approaching Universal Eligibility For Vaccines

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New York State is opening the floodgates of vaccine eligibility, lowering the minimum age for getting vaccinated from 50 down to 30 this week, and removing all limitations on vaccinations as of next Monday, April 6.

As the number of eligible people has soared the state has also been opening more avenues for distributing vaccines, though the large number of eligible New Yorkers has once again overwhelmed supply and appointments are again difficult to secure.

The state has been dispensing close to 1,000 shots a day at the Stony Brook Southampton college campus in Shinnecock Hills. Appointments at the college site are made through the state’s “Am I Eligible” online portal or by calling 1-800-NYS-4VAX.

The CVS pharmacy in Southampton and the Walgreens in Bridgehampton are both now administering vaccinations daily — appointments made through CVS.com and Walgreens.com — and several local doctors offices and medical groups have started offering small numbers of vaccinations to established patients.

Three vaccination clinics were held at the East Hampton Town “points of dispensing,” or POD, site in Wainscott, where more than 2,500 doses were administered on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday.

Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said the town site has been approved by the state as an official vaccination delivery site that can be allocated doses through Suffolk County. The supervisor said the town expects to be getting regular allocations of doses at least one or two days a week going forward and will be able to book appointments for residents through its dedicated registry, www.ehtownvaccine.org, which he said is being updated to streamline the process of town staff alerting those who still need shots to availability.

“We will continue running PODs for as long as it makes sense for us to do so,” he said on Tuesday from the former school building the town transformed into a mass vaccination site. “I think there will be plenty of demand out here for the foreseeable future so we will do as many as we can.”

The East Hampton POD has been alternating between hosting vaccinations clinics organized and staff by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and by the all-volunteer force the town has organized.

The supervisor said the town has had no shortage of volunteers willing to help with logistics, but that as time goes on they will still be looking for skilled medical professionals willing to help draw doses and administer shots at future clinics.

Sag Harbor Village and White’s Pharmacy have also established a vaccination POD at the American Legion on Bay Street that officials say they hope will get regular allocations of doses going forward.

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