NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On the eve of New York City’s indoor vaccine mandate going into effect, more businesses are partnering with the city to offer shots on site.

Gerald Peroco of the Bronx hopped into a COVID-19 mobile vaccine unit in Harlem on Monday to get his second shot.

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“It’s very practical and easy. You can just walk up and get your vaccine,” Peroco told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

The vaccine van, which was parked right outside Blink Fitness, brought that convenience to not just gym members but anyone just passing by.

“I’ve been so surprised to talk to people at many of the activations who just still didn’t know how to go about getting a vaccination,” said David Collignon, senior vice president and CEO of Blink Fitness.


In partnership with the city’s Test & Trace Corps, the fitness franchise has set up on-site shots at several of its gyms, especially in under-vaccinated neighborhoods.

“We’ve got over 750 vaccinations administered through the vans through the activations last week already,” Collignon said.

Starting Tuesday, gyms and restaurants will be among the businesses required by the city to check if people got at least one shot before letting them inside.

“They’re putting so many responsibility on top of us that it’s gonna be very hard for us to confront our customer,” said Susana Osorio, owner of Mama Sushi and Mamajuana Cafe.

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Osorio said she wants her customers to have a solution, so she, too, partnered with the city, bringing a vaccine unit to her neighboring Inwood restaurants.

“Trying to speak to them, giving them some knowledge,” Osorio said.

She is following in the footsteps of eatery Boca, the first city restaurant to take on the initiative. In three days, 94 people were vaccinated at the Bronx business.


Dr. Jonathan Jimenez, the medical director for Test & Trace Corps Community Vaccination and Testing, said ramping up vaccinations is crucial with the Delta variant driving up hospitalizations.

“Having business leaders in the community who are trusted and well known be advocating for people to get vaccinated, it is really going to be, I think, a huge boon for vaccination,” Jimenez said.

The vaccine van will return to Mama Sushi on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

If you need another incentive, the owner said anyone who gets a shot will also get a free meal.

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Another restaurant, Mojitos, in Queens, will also have a mobile vaccine unit offering shots this week.

Jenna DeAngelis