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By Alex Agudelo
Since COVID-19 vaccines have been made available nationwide, 28.9 percent of Americans have received at least one dose, according to the CDC. The increase in vaccinated Americans has led to a steady decrease in COVID-19 deaths and cases. As the country enters into this vaccination phase to bring the number of COVID-19 cases down, people realize the importance of getting vaccinated, figuring out where to go, and what to expect once they receive their shots.
Vaccination sites have opened across New York. One that recently opened is the H. Lee Dennison Building in Happauge. This site has the potential to vaccinate up to 900 people per day. It is the third vaccination site to be run by Suffolk County. On Friday, March 26, 2021, one of the first days the building was open for vaccinations, there was a steady flow of people entering with vaccination appointments scheduled for the day.
The H. Lee Dennison Building is offering the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses given three weeks apart. Carlos Gomez from Brentwood said that he was “so happy and relieved.”
Bayshore resident Joe Campisi said that getting the shot felt “fine.”
However, when both were asked if things would go back to normal, their opinions were guarded. Gomez did not think so, saying, “at least not so fast.” And Campisi simply said, “I hope so.”
Discussing the process of getting the vaccination, Gomez recalled, “It was really great. The nurses and everyone were very helpful.” Campisi agreed, saying, “The process was incredibly smooth.” He added that he was “only there for 20 minutes and 15 of those were for the observation period.”
While the world looks to reduce the number of deaths and cases of COVID-19, the main weapon against the disease has gone from social distancing to prevent the spread to vaccinations that empower the immune systems to fight off the virus. Countries throughout the world are making the vaccines available as quickly as possible with the hopes that their efforts will succeed in returning the populations of the world to normalcy. According to the CDC, the world is beginning to distribute vaccinations, thereby decreasing case and death rates.
Governor Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has announced an application that will utilize secure technology to ensure that people have either been vaccinated or tested negative for the virus. This application will make it easier to host events safely. New York will be the first state to test out the new app, which could act as the key to entry for a lot of things. Along with the pass, you will also need to present a photo ID that shows your name and birth date. Minors will be allowed to have the pass, but adults must accompany them to places that will use the app for validation.
Governor Cuomo has credited the vaccine and lowered infection rates for allowing places to be reopened. Madison Square Garden in New York City and Times Union Center in Albany, New York will be the first places to test the app in April. The app will also help people who are traveling by plane or train.
The speed at which most of the population is vaccinated will be a big driver for how quickly we can get to some normalcy though the need to prove that we are vaccinated may be a new requirement for many things.