Photo: Adobe stock

People 60 and older will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines without prior appointments at 16 mass vaccination sites across New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon.

There are two sites on Long Island where walk-up appointments for seniors will be available: SUNY/Old Westbury and Suffolk Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. The walk-up appointments will be available beginning Friday.

Older people have had difficulty making appointments online, Cuomo said. Walk-up appointments are intended to make it easier for them.

The state will set aside a vaccine allocation to facilitate this expanded vaccination access, the governor said. There may be a wait for people opting to walk-in at some sites, depending on demand, he said.

“Given the location of those sites, walk-up doesn’t seem to be the problem,” Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said.

The median age in the Town of Southold is 55.4, nearly one-and-a-half times higher than the median age in Suffolk County, 41.3— and the state overall, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This is yet another example of the East End getting ignored,” Russell said.

Early on, East End supervisors fought to get any vaccine distribution sites on the twin forks at all. Several vaccination sites have since opened on the East End: at the eastern campus of Suffolk County Community College in Northampton; at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in Southampton, Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport and at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. Vaccines are also available at certain chain pharmacies and at the Sun River Health clinic at the county center in Riverside.

>>More COVID-19 coverage, data and updates (opens in a new tab)”>>>>More COVID-19 coverage, data and updates

Brentwood is located in Islip Town, which has the lowest median age — 39 — of any town in Suffolk. Its neighboring towns, Babylon and Brookhaven, where the median age is 40, have the next lowest median age in Suffolk.

Statewide, more than 5.8 million people have completed their vaccine series and nearly 8.5 million have gotten at least one dose.

Support local journalism.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.