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Javits Center’s mass vaccination site will close this Friday — a victim of its own success, as the focus shifts to boosting COVID shot rates in communities with low take-up. Sites at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island and upstate SUNY Ulster will also shutter on July 9.
“We have achieved great progress in beating back the virus and getting enough New Yorkers vaccinated in order to begin getting back to life as we know it, and our mass vaccination sites were key in helping us get here,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement.
When the pandemic hit last March, the Javits Center was faced with the challenge of having the largest empty space in New York City.
Since then, the west side conference center has been transformed twice to rescue the city from a healthcare crisis. First, it was converted into a 2,500-bed emergency hospital. Then earlier this year, it became the flagship public vaccination center for the state. At times, it was administering 14,000 shots daily on a 24/7 schedule, with lines around the block.
The conference center opened in 1986 under Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew’s father, and is owned by the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, a quasi-private organization with a state-chosen board of directors. It was recently announced that the New York International Auto Show will return to Javits this summer, taking place from August 20-29.