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Updated – Aug. 6, 4:44 p.m. Riverhead Town is partnering with the Long Island Farm Bureau and the North Fork Spanish Apostolate to sponsor a distribution event for the COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 12 and 13 at the Riverhead Senior Center.

Riverhead residents 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at the senior center, located at 60 Shade Tree Lane in Aquebogue, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The second dose of the vaccine will be distributed at the same location on Sept. 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

No appointment is needed for eligible persons to get a vaccine. Residents are asked to bring their ID and insurance information to the appointment.

“This unified outreach partnership provides us the ability to assist our agricultural community, our senior population, our youth and anyone else in the Town of Riverhead who has not yet been able to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine,” Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said in a statement.

The distribution comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant now make up more than 80% of cases in the United States. The CDC issued a health advisory last week calling for “the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage.” The CDC said the majority of hospitalizations from coronavirus in recent months has been unvaccinated patients.

“Long Island Farm Bureau and our farming community have always been community advocates for the Town of Riverhead,” Long Island Farm Bureau Director Rob Carpenter said. “This opportunity to participate in a vaccination drive to help the farmers, the farm workers and citizens of Riverhead Town is a tremendous opportunity. We look forward to working with Supervisor Aguiar and members of the town staff to make this a successful event.”

In the Calverton 11933 zip code, 51.7% of residents have completed the vaccine series, according to data published by the State Department of Health. In the Riverhead 11901 zip code, 53.7% have completed the series. 

“It is so important to have the vaccine available as often as possible,” Sister Margaret Smythe of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate said. “This is a great opportunity for the community workers to have this protection.”

The state yesterday reported 55.8% of New Yorkers have both shots of the vaccine, while 63.2% have had at least their first shot. In Suffolk, 57.1% of the total population has completed the vaccine series, according to the county health department.  

Cases in Suffolk County have been steadily increasing over the past few weeks. Suffolk reported a 3.9% test percent positive rate yesterday. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate was 3.1%.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]