POMONA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — North suburban Rockland County is falling short of the vaccination goal with just 64% of adults receiving at least one shot.

Health officials are now getting creative in reaching residents.

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Pomp and circumstance — and public health.

Rockland County hosted a COVID vaccine clinic this week at the minor league ballpark in Pomona, where almost a dozen local schools will be holding graduation ceremonies.

“Sounds like a good idea to me. Get more people almost in the spur of the moment,” New City resident Catherine Prendergast said.

Especially if they’re baseball fans; the New York Boulders are offering free tickets to a game for everyone getting a shot.


For one student on a travel softball team, it was a doubleheader — graduation and vaccination. Giada Arbolino received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine just minutes after being on the field with other eighth graders graduating from Felix Festa Middle School.

“I was pretty, like, excited and happy to get my vaccine, finally, to just get it over with,” Giada said.

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“Does it make graduation day that much more memorable?” CBS2’s Tony Aiello asked.

“Yeah, I’ll always remember getting my first vaccine on my graduation,” Giada said.

The stadium crowd was almost entirely mask-free.


Rockland is several points short of the 70% vaccination goal.

The health commissioner says the rapid spread of the coronavirus Delta variant adds urgency to the vaccination push.

“The vaccine so far has appeared to be effective against it, and again, before it can keep mutating, we want to get people vaccinated so that it doesn’t continue to affect the population,” said Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County’s health commissioner.

“It’s a process, and we keep plugging away because our goal is to try to get as many people immunized as possible,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said.

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For Giada, it was a day with lots to celebrate.

Tony Aiello