NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You can now get a COVID-19 vaccine shot while on your commute.
Eight new pop-up vaccination sites are open at Metropolitan Transportation Authority station stops in the city, on Long Island and in the Mid-Hudson Region.READ MORE: NYC Teacher, Principal Unions Warn Of School Staffing Shortages When Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect; De Blasio Says Substitutes Standing By
As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, the idea is to vaccinate as many people as possible and have the process be convenient for commuters since they are on the move.
No appointments are necessary, but the pop-ups are only open Wednesday through Sunday, so the public has only five days to take advantage of the program.
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Dozens of people lined up starting at 7 a.m. at Grand Central Terminal‘s Vanderbilt Hall for their single-dose shot. Rodolfo Navas was one.
“The majority of the people that need these vaccines that commute every day and have been commuting every day for the last year and a half, they need sites like this,” Navas said.
Eight locations were unveiled — Grand Central, Penn Station, Coney Island subway station, Broadway Junction in Brooklyn, East 180th Street station in the Bronx, 179th Street station in Queens, and the Long Island Rail Road Hempstead and Metro-North Ossining stops.
“The process could not be any easier. Anyone passing through any one of these stations — and I mean anyone, New Yorker or not — can walk up, register, get their shot,” MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said.
“This process is designed to be simple, so you can get your shot and be on your way in the shortest amount of time possible,” Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi said.READ MORE: Understaffing At Nursing Homes Leaves Residents Vulnerable Amid Pandemic, Now Vaccine Mandate Could Make It Worse
Each location can serve 300 walk-ins per day on a first-come, first-serve basis, and administers the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“It was convenient. First of all, I wanted the Johnson & Johnson because it’s one shot. I work in the area, so I figured I’d hop down in the morning before I get the day started,’ one person said.
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To sweeten the deal, the MTA is providing incentives like a free round trip on the LIRR or Metro-North, or a free seven-day MetroCard, which caught Felix Toma’s attention.
“I’m here for the free MetroCard,” Toma said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced even more incentives Wednesday morning, like free gifts cards to NYC Public Markets and the Chelsea Market to increase the vaccination rate.
“We’re going to be rolling out more and more incentives, all different kinds for every kind of New Yorker, because we want everyone to become part of this. We want everyone vaccinated to make all of us safe,” de Blasio said.
As for the eight pop-up transit vaccination locations, each has different times the shots are offered. For example, at Grand Central it’s 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., so make sure you check first.MORE NEWS: CDC Recommending Pfizer Booster Shots For Seniors, Adults With Underlying Medical Conditions, Adults At Greater Risk Of Exposure At Work
For a complete list of locations, please click here.