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New Yorkers Over Age 50 Now Eligible For Walk-In Appointments

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It got a lot easier to get a COVID vaccine for some New Yorkers on Saturday. City-run vaccination sites are now taking walk-in appointments for anyone over the age of 50; CBS2's John Dias reports.

Video Transcript

HAZEL SANCHEZ: If you need a COVID vaccine and live in New York, it just got a lot easier to get one today. City-run vaccine sites are now taking walk-in appointments and lowered the eligibility age to 50. CBS 2's John Dias joins us now in Times Square with more. John?

JOHN DIAS: Yeah, good evening, Hazel. Well, the city is hoping that by lowering this age limit for all these walk-ins that it will help stop any COVID-19 vaccines from piling up. And as you mentioned, rest assured everyone that's had a hard time in the past booking appointments, things are about to get a whole lot easier.

- We tried and tried. We can't get it.

JOHN DIAS: For weeks, this 62-year-old Bronx woman had been appointmentless and feeling hopeless. But today, things have changed. She can walk in.

- So this time, perfect.

JOHN DIAS: Now, New Yorkers 50 and up are allowed to go to any city-run COVID vaccination site, no reservation needed. The Armory in Washington Heights has an even lower age rule, offering walk-ins to New Yorkers 18 and older. In Brooklyn, Richard Rivera says this hassle free way is the best.

RICHARD RIVERA: It's a lot easier. I didn't want to get involved with making phone calls. This is better. Just go in and out.

JOHN DIAS: Previously, walk-in appointments were only available for New Yorkers 75 and older and a plus one. But with supply now outpacing demand, the city is confident they can lower the age range.

LINDA THOMPSON: They can all come here and know that there's going to be enough for them to be taken care of.

JOHN DIAS: Linda Thompson works at the Abyssinian Baptist church in Harlem. She says within the first hour its vaccination site opened, close to 20 people came in with no appointment.

LINDA THOMPSON: They have their worries totally dissipated.

JOHN DIAS: Earlier this week, the challenge of finding an appointment in the city had apparently eased up. For the first time, thousands of appointments were not immediately claimed, allowing this family that has been surviving the pandemic together to get protected together.

MONICA TRACEY: I thought it was a miracle. We were all back to back.

JOHN DIAS: Some feared stockpiles of vaccines may grow or vaccines would start to go to waste if appointments were unused. But experts say that's not the case.

YADIRA ROSEMIN: We don't mix until we have the patients here, and so we haven't wasted anything.

JOHN DIAS: And even with all these open appointments that the city saw this past week, the mayor's office is saying that yesterday on Friday, the city reached a record with administering more than 106,000 doses. We are live this evening from Times Square, John Dias, CBS 2 News.

HAZEL SANCHEZ: All right, John. Thanks so much.