UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As more supply becomes available, COVID-19 vaccination efforts are ramping up across the Tri-State Area.
A new distribution site opened Tuesday morning at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.READ MORE: COVID In N.Y. & N.J.: Vaccination Remains Priority, But Officials Warning Of Some High Infection Rates Due To Variants
The site will begin administering vaccines to more than 1,000 people this week, officials said.
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County Executive Laura Curran said the new site will help get shots in arms as quickly as possible as vaccine supply increases.
“We’re still having more demand than supply, but it’s starting to catch up,” Curran said. “It’s important that we have this infrastructure in place, that we’re not overwhelmed with the supply, that we have a place to funnel it right in and get it into the arms.”
As of Tuesday, New Yorkers age 50 and up are eligible to get vaccinated.
Carmine Biscardi of East Meadow called Tuesday his most exciting day since he emigrated here from Italy. He may soon get to see his friends in person.
“I belong to the Sons and Daughters of Italy. Hopefully, in the next couple months, we’ll start having live meetings,” Biscardi told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
More than 32% of Nassau County residents have received at least one dose, and now the coliseum is poised to offer hundreds of shots per day.
“This is an iconic building. It is in the heart of our county. It’s easy to get to and it just makes sense to do vaccine distribution here,” Curran said.
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Some had been eligible but hesitant. They now credit trusted messengers touting vaccination safety.
“Take it and be a leader and an example for my family,” said Joe Williams of East Meadow.
Nearby, Hofstra University received a grant to help facilitate vaccinations in minority communities.
“One of the problems we have seen is the digital divide. The same thing that hurt students in underserved schools, computers that my not be able to reach out and access the websites because of their bandwidth,” said Lawrence Levy, dean of Hofstra’s Center for Suburban Studies.
Enter three sophomores from Jericho High School’s “Project Vaccine Angels” to help families in need.
“We are fortunate enough to be able to have access to the right materials to make vaccine appointments,” student Madison Grady said.
They are contacted through their gmail accounts and then scour the web for availabilities.
“We just need their information. Once we have that, we divvy up the work. It takes about five hours a week,” Emma Gross said.
“Thinking of my grandparents and their friends. They can barely text or email,” Abby Garten added.
The coliseum will be open six days a week to book those appointments.
Some vaccination sites on Long Island require residents with appointments to go through metal detectors before getting their shot.