CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas has the story from Rockaway Beach.
- The unofficial start to summer was a bit different at Rockaway Beach today.
- Families are being urged to stay safe in more ways than one. CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas joins us live from Queens with more, Aundrea.
AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Well, when the demand for the COVID vaccine dwindled at traditional sites, the city packed up some of those doses and put them on buses like this one to take directly to community's. So this Memorial Day, the beaches were a natural option, and it's part of a broader plan to increase access to these shots, that the city says, is working. On this chilly Memorial Day, sweaters and sweatshirts not swim trunks, were the preferred accessory at Rockaway Beach.
GAVRIEL PUCHA: I can relax with my family and stuff, I mean, it's still the beach, no?
AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: The 12-year-old wasted no time to take a plunge in the ocean, resuming what had been a Memorial Day tradition that was put on hold last year due to the pandemic.
GAVRIEL PUCHA: Last year I really wanted to go and I really just couldn't, you know, because of the whole thing. I had to wear a mask. And we couldn't really go anywhere.
AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Despite many COVID restrictions being lifted, visitors were sparse. But joining them this year was a mobile COVID vaccination bus.
SCOTT ORLANSKI: Everything on here we would have in a regular vaccination location, except this is on wheels.
AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Meeting people right where they are as hesitancy and lack of access factors into about half of city residents not being vaccinated.
ANITA REYES: We have staff here that are able to give information out and answer questions for those people that need more information.
AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Kimori Jamison was first in line and now joins more than 13,000 people who have received their shot at a mobile clinic in recent weeks.
KIMORI JAMISON: When the vaccine first came out, I was a little sketchy about it. I was like, that was too soon. But then I was just like, just do it. Because my grandmother got the vaccine. So after she got it, I was like, I could get it.
AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: With each dose administered, more relief as those activities we longed to return to become even safer.
GAVRIEL PUCHA: It feels relaxing to even go outside in the first place, and not be so scared about everything, especially with the vaccine now.
AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS: Now, we have certainly come a long way but COVID is not fully behind us. If you're interested in getting vaccinated, the bus is here on Beach 84th Street. It will be here until 7:00 PM. Similar clinics have been set up at South Beach, Brighton Beach, and Orchard Beach. We are live from Rockaway Beach, Aundrea Cline-Thomas, CBS2 News.