Walk-in appointments were previously only available for New Yorkers over age 75. The change comes as vaccine supply finally outweighs demand. CBS2's Christina Fan reports.
CINDY HSU: Today, for the first time, New York has lowered the age for walk-in visits to a city-run COVID vaccine site. It comes as the global death toll from COVID-19 tops 3 million. CBS2's Christina Fan joins us live from a vaccine site at the Brooklyn Army Terminal with more. Good morning, Christina.
CHRISTINA FAN: Good morning, Cindy. The city is experiencing a big reversal in vaccine demand. For the first time, thousands of appointments are going unclaimed. So, in an attempt to fix this and keep the momentum going, the city is removing the hassle of having to schedule your appointment online. New Yorkers over the age of 50 can now walk right in.
This morning a much easier, stress-free way for some New Yorkers trying to get their COVID shots. Those 50 and older can walk into any city-run site to get vaccinated, no appointment needed. Previously, walk-in appointments were exclusive to those 75 and older. The expansion comes as vaccine supply finally outpaces demand.
BILL DE BLASIO: I like the current situation a lot better. I actually think it's encouraging people who were hesitant or just, you know, were put off by the inconvenience.
CHRISTINA FAN: For the first time thousands of appointments are easily up for grabs, from the Javits Center to smaller sites citywide.
- My friends are getting them earlier and earlier.
CHRISTINA FAN: The abundance is concerning some officials, worried appointments could start to go to waste.
MARK LEVINE: In other states where the stockpiles have started to grow they've actually started asking for less supply from the federal government. We don't want it to come to that because we have so much more vaccination to do in the city.
CHRISTINA FAN: Council Member Mark Levine is chair of the health committee and says less than half of city adults have received their first shots. He thinks the city has hit its tipping point, but believes this isn't about anti-vaxxers.
MARK LEVINE: I think the next wave of vaccination is people who, maybe they got discouraged trying earlier on and said, oh, this is too difficult. Maybe they're people who have busy lives.
CHRISTINA FAN: And we asked the council member if the hesitancy has anything to do with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine getting put on hold, but he tells us that the slowdown happened just before then. We're live from Brooklyn Army Terminal, Christina Fan, CBS2 News.