U.S. residents can now receive a COVID-19 vaccination at several New York airports. Starting Monday, pop-up sites at seven airports across the state will offer walk-in vaccinations for the one-shot Janssen jab on a first come first serve basis.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the program is intended to make vaccinations more convenient and accessible. The program launched ahead of heavy travel anticipated for Memorial Day weekend. According to AAA, “more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of 60% from last year when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began recording in 2000.”
Of 37 million planning to travel, 2.5 million will board planes, marking a 577% surge over last year, and auto travel is projected to increase 52% over 2020.
“Our vaccination pop-up sites have been instrumental in helping us reach more New Yorkers who need to get vaccinated, and given the success of our pilot program at subway and train stations across the MTA network, we are getting creative once more by bringing the vaccine to our airports,” Cuomo said in a previous statement. “This vaccine is the best weapon that we have to defeat COVID, and we will go anywhere we need to get more shots into people’s arms. If you are traveling through or working at one of these airports or just happen to be passing through and you still need to get vaccinated, I encourage you to make time to get your shot so we can finally defeat this virus.”
The seven airports offering COVID-19 vaccinations are:
- JFK International Airport
- LaGuardia Airport
- Westchester County Airport
- Albany International Airport
- Syracuse Hancock International Airport
- Greater Rochester International Airport
- Buffalo Niagara International Airport
New York also recently expanded vaccination sites to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, hoping to bring in entire families for vaccinations at once while offering incentives like free same-day admission and family passes, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Though new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says fully vaccinated people can go without masks or physical distancing in most settings, all travelers regardless of vaccination status are required to don face coverings on public transportation and in travel hubs like airports and stations.
According to state health data, nearly 55% of adult New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, while some 10.5 million residents have received at least one dose.