ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Tuesday officially kicked off New Yorkers 16 and older to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Siena College said they are encouraging all students to get vaccinated to reopen safely in the fall.

“I feel good, I’m a little squeamish with needles, but I’m glad I got it,” said Rylie VanBramer.

Rylie VanBramer, a senior at Siena College, said with her vaccine card, she hopes to walk at graduation and perform one last time with the dance team.

“This past year a lot of things have been taken away. So, I’m just looking forward to an end of this and to have a little bit of normalcy back to life,” she said.

On the first day for New Yorkers 16 and older to get a shot, around 500 Siena College students received the Pfizer vaccine on campus.

“We had an enormous amount of students that were looking for appointments. We filled our first 500 vaccine appointments in about 9 or 10 hours,” said Carrie Hogan, Director of Health Services at Siena College and a nurse practitioner at St. Peter’s Health Partners.

Hogan said with giving out the vaccine on campus, they are hoping it will open the door for students to gather safely in classrooms, dorms, cafeterias, and participate in extracurricular activities in the fall.  

“That’s why we are promoting them to become vaccinated; not only for their own safety but to help prevent the spread throughout the community,” said Hogan.

“By us getting the vaccine it help protects our community, this campus and our families when we go home,” said Keyla Galarza.

Sophomore Keyla Galarza said she felt confident and had no hesitancy about getting the vaccine. She is looking forward to the fall semester.

“I’m ready to be around more people and have that aspect of normalcy again,” she said.