New York: A city in the vaccination rhythm

Status: 04/07/2021 11:23 a.m.

New Yorkers have turned the hunt for corona vaccination appointments into a kind of sport. It’s about speed, but also about mutual help. But the number of infections is rising again.

From Antje Passenheim,
ARD-Studio New York

A mild spring day in New York with open air jazz on the Hudson River: the visitors keep their distance, wear masks and, in addition to the jazz rhythm, have the rhythm of the vaccination appointments in their heads. Stefan from the audience gets on his bike – he is now going to the Bronx to get vaccinations, he said casually during the concert break.

Antje Passenheim
ARD-Studio New York

What is still a sensation in Germany has become routine in New York: for a Covid vaccination. Every fifth person is already completely vaccinated. A third of New Yorkers got at least the first dose. Stefan also calmly makes his way to his vaccination station – he doesn’t really know the name, it is 15 kilometers from the concert venue.

No shortage of vaccination centers

Whether it’s a practice, a small drugstore or one of the mega vaccination centers. Opportunities abound to protect yourself from the virus, across the boundaries of work, age and neighborhoods. Thousands of appointments are offered every day. Everyone just has to be quick.

“Click on it every few minutes – refresh, refresh, refresh”: Clicking through the appointment websites has also become a new sport for Tanja, who is New York by choice. The hardest part, she says, was filling out all the forms as quickly as possible. Anyone who has found a free slot must complete the online questionnaire before another one is faster.

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Neighborhood help in times of pandemic

Everyone over the age of 16 is eligible. The city calls for mutual help. And New Yorkers make a sport out of it, also in Tanja’s neighborhood in Manhattan. It then works like this: “Share the websites where you should look best, share the times. Twitter was a big tip – that people often post updates there.”

Streets are joining forces on Facebook, especially to bring the elderly on board. Work colleagues pull each other with them, says Chris, who works for an airline. They would have had a text message chain between them, “For example, to say, ‘Hey, there were a lot of appointments on this website at midnight. Check it out if you’re up tomorrow morning.'”

Any tip can help to get the vaccination faster – here several New Yorkers support each other.

Bild: AP

“Have to continue to be careful”

Vaccinations even take place at night. New centers are added every day. But at all speeds, says Chris, the feeling of freedom initially remains slowed down. “There is still this solidarity: not everyone already has the vaccination. We have to continue to be careful.”

Not everyone thinks that way in New York. With the spring temperatures, mask fatigue and party spirit increase. The vaccination campaign gives a false sense of security, warns Mayor Bill de Blasio. It will “take months” until enough people are vaccinated to “get around the curve”.

But the infection curve is rising again. Despite the rapid vaccination campaign, New York is again the nationwide leader in terms of new infections, alongside neighboring New Jersey.

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The governor wants to open quickly

Regardless, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing for more openings. Cinemas and sports stadiums have already started up again to a limited extent. Restaurants are again allowed to occupy half of the seats inside. The guests cavort on the sidewalks.

The opening continues on Friday: After an 18-month Corona forced break, the amusement parks in the Coney Island district are to reopen.

New York vaccinated – the spades and the party atmosphere

Antje Passenheim, ARD New York, 7.4.2021 9:39 a.m.

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