More than 180,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses given at Aqueduct Racetrack
by Pat McKenna
With live racing on the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit transitioning from Aqueduct Racetrack to Belmont Park for the start of the spring/summer meet on Thursday, April 22, Aqueduct will continue to play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19 as the home of a mass vaccination center.
The New York State vaccination distribution center opened on January 18 and has provided more than 180,000 doses to New Yorkers. Operating seven days a week, the Aqueduct site is now providing as many as 4,000 doses per day.
“Our mission to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible continues to be a success story, and our vast network of state-run sites will help push us across the finish line,” said Patrick A. Murphy, Commissioner of the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. “This facility has vaccinated more than 180,000 individuals since January thanks to the teamwork displayed by employees from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Health, Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, New York State Police, Somos Community Care and the New York Racing Association, and I applaud all their efforts in this fight to help us end the pandemic.”
NYRA’s other downstate track, Belmont Park, is home to a vaccination distribution center operated by Northwell Health, which also opened in January. Vaccinations will continue to be administered at Belmont throughout the 2021 spring/summer meet.
“NYRA is proud to contribute to the mass vaccination effort to help turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA President and CEO. “We thank all those who have been working at Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park to protect their fellow New Yorkers during this public health crisis.”
Last spring, New York state officials identified Aqueduct as an appropriate location for an overflow hospital to serve the residents of Queens in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the overflow hospital was not needed then or now.
Beginning in April 2020, the Aqueduct parking lot has been the home of a drive-thru COVID-19 testing location, and it continues in that role.
All New Yorkers age 16 and higher are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. For additional information, or to make an appointment today, visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.