All New York City-run COVID-19 vaccination sites are now open to walk-in appointments, regardless of any geographic restrictions, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.
"We want to make it simple for folks," de Blasio said. "This is how we bring our city back."
The mayor encouraged federally supported health centers to allow walk-in appointments. "We think this approach is exactly right for this point as we continue to move forward," de Blasio said.
He recommended that private providers reach out one-on-one to their patients to educate and encourage them to get vaccinated because personal contact is what he said will "make a huge difference."
"Let them know it's free," de Blasio said. "Let them know it's safe. Let them know it's effective. Let them know it's easier than ever."
Over six million vaccinations have been administered throughout New York City, de Blasio said. The city reported nearly 16,000 total COVID-19 cases in the last seven days, which is a decrease from previous weekly averages.
New York City initially launched a tiered COVID-19 vaccination plan which first prioritized high-risk populations and health care workers. De Blasio piloted a walk-in program for New York residents aged 75 and older on April 6, then extended the program last week to those aged 50 and older.
De Blasio's announcement follows a similar move from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced this week that all mass vaccination sites in the state would allow those aged 60 and older to walk in for COVID-19 vaccinations.