Starting this weekend visitors to New York City's parks and beaches can get the COVID-19 vaccine from mobile vaccination sites, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Tuesday.
The initiative comes as city beaches open for the season over Memorial Day weekend, and as the city's vaccination effort has slowed dramatically. About 42% of the city's total population is fully vaccinated five months into the immunization effort, according to city data.
Mobile vaccine buses will be stationed at Coney Island, the Rockaways, Brighton Beach and Orchard Beach, as well as at several city parks, including Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Governors Island and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
"We're gonna combine the joy of summer and the beaches reopening with the vaccination effort," de Blasio said. "This is an example of bringing the vaccination to the people."
De Blasio has also announced a series of prize incentives for people who receive their first dose of the vaccine in the coming months, following other states and cities that are also offering vaccination rewards.
People who get vaccinated at city-run sites, including the mobile sites, will be automatically entered to win prizes like year-long gym memberships, passes to the upcoming Governors Ball music festival and NBA playoff tickets.