County and state-run vaccination sites open walk-ins to all 16+


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The harder it gets to fill vaccine appointments, the harder providers try to reach anyone who isn’t yet inoculated against COVID-19. Even as the Times Union Center opens to all walk-ins 16 and older Thursday keeping pace with the same policy at state sites, County Executive Dan McCoy says he still doesn’t expect demand to perfectly meet an overwhelming supply.

“We didn’t request any new vaccines. We had vaccine left over from last week and we also had the J&J came back on,” he explains.

On top of opening to all eligible walk-ins, McCoy announces a new program to eliminate barriers for anyone 60 and older still struggling to make it to a clinic.

“We’ll give you free transportation. We’ll pick you up, we will pick your aide up, we’ll bring you down to our health complex, we’ll get you vaccinated and we’ll get you back home,” McCoy says.

The free rides can be scheduled through the Albany County Department for Aging.

Meanwhile, over in Rensselaer County vaccine pods are ahead of the pack. Universal eligible walk-ins have been accepted for close to two weeks, though Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas says the new state policy will be a long term benefit to avoid confusion.

“We were surprised that we didn’t see more come in than we did so far, but I think this has been a very complicated system of how to get registered and what link, where is the pod, so making that all uniform and know that anywhere you go it can be a walk in, it’s going to be a lot easier for everyone,” she explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

She says it will be even easier to allow walk-ins and plan vaccine events in advance now that state policy doesn’t require doses have to be used within seven days.

“What we don’t want to do is we don’t want to turn people down just because we have to open up a vile. When someone shows interest in getting a vaccine, we want to vaccinate them and not have to think about what will happen to the rest of the doses once we open that vial,” she says.

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