ALBANY — New Yorkers over age 60 can now get the COVID vaccine without an appointment at state-run mass-vaccination sites.
This age group has been a priority for vaccination because it is the most vulnerable to COVID-19 — more than 87% of the 41,575 New Yorkers known to have succumbed to the virus have been age 60 or older.
That age cohort also may be less computer-literate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 63, said Wednesday. To ease their way, they will no longer need to go online nor even make a phone call to get their shots.
“Just show up at the vaccination site if you’re 60-plus,” Cuomo said, speaking in Yonkers at a state-run mass-vaccination site that was delivering its 50,000th dose Wednesday.
All New Yorkers age 16 and up should get the shot, Cuomo said. “You are part of the community and I believe it’s a civic duty for you as part of that community to do the responsible thing.”
There are two state-run vaccination sites in the Capital Region: The Washington Avenue Armory in Albany and the former Lord & Taylor space at Crossgates Mall in Guilderland.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that among the 92% of vaccine recipients whose age was recorded, ages 65 and up are receiving the vaccine at the highest rate relative to their population. They account for a combined 33.2% of Americans with at least one dose in their arms but just 16.8% of the U.S. population.
In other COVID news Wednesday:
- Statewide, 42.6% of New Yorkers had received at least one dose of COVID vaccine as of Wednesday morning. Locally, the percentages ranged from 31.6% in Fulton County (fourth-lowest among the state’s 62 counties) to 50.6% in Schenectady County (fourth-highest).
- Albany County said it will accept walk-ins without appointment for first-dose Pfizer shots from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday at its vaccination clinic at the Times Union Center. Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy has noted that appointments are filling more slowly now. Roughly half of the county’s total population and well over half its eligible population — those age 16 and older — already have received at least one shot.
- The seven-day positive COVID test rate dropped to 2.7% statewide, lowest in more than five months. At the county level, the rates were: Albany 2.9%, Fulton 3.8%, Montgomery 2.9%, Rensselaer 1.4%, Saratoga 2.3%, Schenectady 1.8% and Schoharie 3.6%.
- The official state COVID death toll reached 41,629 with 53 new deaths, including two in Saratoga County and one in Albany County.
- The last overflow medical facility in New York City closed Thursday after treating 1,023 COVID-positive patients. The move was made possible by the shrinking patient census in the city. Hospitals there were down to 1,858 COVID inpatients Tuesday from a second-wave peak of 3,884 on Feb. 8.