ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Over 200 people got a jump on their COVID-19 vaccinations, as officials held a soft opening Tuesday at the new mass vaccination site on Saint Paul Street.
250 people waited outside for their COVID-19 shot Tuesday afternoon, many calling the process easy. Medical staff got their first run at operating the site, which will provide nearly 30,000 people with vaccinations.
Phyliss Decoste said she called on Sunday and got an appointment 2 days later. People like her who came on Tuesday waited in line outside the tent before heading, in where state and local leaders waited to help.
“I was a little nervous because I have underlying problems, but it was great. There was somebody there to help and everything went fine. So hopefully with the second one it will be good too,” said Phyllis Decoste, an East Irondequoit resident.
28,000 appointments are available at the state-run vaccination site in the former Kodak Hawkeye parking lot, at 1345 St. Paul St.. The goal is 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines per day.
Those eligible can also make appointments through the “Am I Eligible” website or calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
The site focuses on people living in Rochester communities where access to the vaccine is a challenge. The first week, registration will only be available to people living in the zip codes: 14605, 14613, 14611, 14608, 14621, 14619, 14606, 14615, 14614, 14609, 14604 or 14603.
Registration is preferred to ensure your spot. There are people on site to help register but if you show up without an appointment, but there are no guarantees you’ll get a shot that same day.
“What we’re trying to do and what we hope to achieve is bring the vaccines to underserved communities,” Division Supervisor for Rochester Community Vaccination Center Susan Oneill said. “We’re all here ready and able to assist them in getting the vaccine if that is their choice to do so. I myself have gotten the vaccine…. and I encourage everybody to get it because you’ll feel a little more secure as you approach your day-to-day life.”
250 people who pre-registered were given shots on Tuesday. The tent will be open again Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with 1,000 people set to be vaccinated.
At the last update, more than half appointments were still available.
There are many resources for seniors, and anyone eligible for the vaccine available through the city of Rochester, those looking for an appointment can go to local Rec-Centers, City’s libraries or call the City’s help line at 3-1-1.
The Regional Transit Service has also announced it will waive fares on all trips on Route 35 St. Paul from March 3 through May 3 to make it easier for residents to get to the new mass vaccination site.