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Jones Beach mass vaccination site set to close next week

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The mass vaccination site at Jones Beach — along with three other New York state sites — will officially shut down next week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced.

The Wantagh vaccination site will cease operations on Monday, July 19. The makeshift sites at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, Plattsburgh International Airport and SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica also closed their doors this week. 

The closure comes roughly one month after Gov. Cuomo announced restrictions would be lifted for residents as 70 percent of New Yorkers had received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. In a news brief last week, Cuomo stated that additional sites will demobilize as part of the effort to downscale and prioritize local vaccination efforts. 

“We are continuing to target communities that have lower vaccination rates and using every tool at our disposal to make the vaccine accessible to every New Yorker," Gov. Cuomo said in a news brief.

In Nassau County, at least 80 percent of adults have received their first jab. According to the State Department of Health, Nassau has the highest percentage of adults with at least one dose among all Counties in the state with a population greater than 200,000.

Approximately 2,109 Wantagh residents and 1,818 Seaford residents have tested positive for Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data from the Nassau County Department of Information Technology.

As more contagious variants like Delta emerge, County Executive Laura Curran said she encourages residents to get vaccinated.

“This virus has not disappeared,” Curran said in a news brief. “Getting vaccinated remains the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick or dying from Covid. The County is keeping a vigilant eye on the numbers and external developments, and we continue to encourage eligible residents who haven't gotten their shots yet to roll up their sleeves.”

When the Jones Beach site first opened in mid-January, doses were limited and some residents struggled to schedule an appointment. The Herald previously reported that vaccines were often administered the day they arrived at the Wantagh site. However, as vaccines became available in the area, appointments became more accessible.