WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — More sites for COVID vaccinations are opening up in our region, and local officials say the increase in options means that anyone eligible for a vaccine can get one.

A former Sears store in Livingston, New Jersey, is now a bustling machine for vaccine, storing COVID vaccines and getting them into as many arms as available doses and eligibility will allow.

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“I was circling this day on the calendar for a while,” South Orange resident Lucas Calhoun said.

Calhoun, a first responder with the South Orange Rescue Squad, is freshly vaccinated with dose one of two.

“It’s just a peace of mind that has been granted to us,” he told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.


The vaccination site at the former Sears is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s one of four Essex County sites, with a fifth opening up before the end of the month.

Vaccine mega-sites are popping up across the Tri-State Area.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In New York City, there’s one at Brooklyn Army Terminal Sunset Park and another in the Bronx at the Bathgate Industrial Park, operating 24/7 starting Sunday.

On Monday, the state widens eligibility to include people over 75, police, transit workers and teachers.

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Wednesday, the Javits Center becomes a vaccine distribution center after previously being set up as a field hospital in the early days of the pandemic.

All these grand openings and tours let the public know as soon as they are eligible, they can get vaccinated.

But that’s provided the vaccines, including new ones, continue to get pushed into the pipeline from the feds to the states and to mega-sites and smaller local hubs.

RELATED STORY — First COVID Vaccine Mega Sites Open In New Jersey As Health Care Workers, Firefighters, Police Officers Become Eligible For Inoculation

Three new vaccination hubs opened in the city Saturday. One at the South Bronx educational campus on Saint Anne’s Avenue was visited by New York City health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

“You go directly to be vaccinated, and afterwards, you stay in an observation room for about 15 minutes,” he said.

“We will get the vaccine out as quickly as we get the vaccine in,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said at the grand opening of a second large vaccination site.

CBS2 was there for the first vaccinations at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury.

RELATED STORY — COVID In New York: Gov. Cuomo Expands Vaccine Eligibility, Warns It Could Take Weeks Or Months To Get An Appointment

Nassau County Community College is another county-run spot to get injections of not just the vaccine, but hope that this eventually gets us back to our more normal lives.

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Dave Carlin