MTA Extends Vaccine Pilot Program Through May 29th At Penn Station & Grand Central Terminal

The MTA has extended a pilot program offering the COVID-19 vaccine at two high-traffic transit hubs following high demand, officials announced Saturday.

The vaccination program—which began on May 12th initially at eight MTA sites in New York, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley (three more sites were later added)—will be extended exclusively at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal through May 29th. The rest of the sites will be closed Saturday, according to an MTA spokesperson. The program was originally slated to end on May 16th.

“By bringing the vaccine to where people are passing by on their way to work, see friends, shop and visit reopened cultural attractions, it’s made it possible for thousands who might not have otherwise been vaccinated to protect themselves and their families,” MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said in a statement.

A total of more than 1,100 people were vaccinated at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal during the program’s first official day, more than any other vaccine site in the system, according to the MTA. To date, a total of more than 10,000 people have received a vaccine at MTA vaccination centers, the MTA said. They include the 180th Street Station in the Bronx and the Broadway-Junction Station in Brooklyn.

No appointments are needed. The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is the only shot available and the MTA says it has the capacity to vaccinate upwards of 300 people per day at each site. Those who get jabbed through the program will receive a free, seven-day MetroCard or two rail tickets. Separate from the MTA program, the city and state have launched other incentives for those who need to get a shot. This week, the Cuomo administration announced anyone who receives a shot will be entered into a $5 million lottery.

The effort comes as vaccinations have been made available to everyone age 12 and older in the state. It also comes as more people return to the subways amid New York City’s reopening. On May 20th, the MTA recorded 2 million people riding the subway.

“By expanding this program at two of the Authority’s busiest locations, more people will have access to this vaccine and can protect themselves and others as riders continue to return to mass transit,” MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren said.