Got vaccines? You bet.

Vaccines came on Monday to New York City’s top Covid hot spot: South Ozone Park.

The new vaccination center at the Aqueduct Race Track, the sole state-run site announced in Queens, will bring much-needed relief to the neighborhood, which had the highest positivity rate of all New York City ZIP codes at 15.94 percent as of Friday. 

Its two adjacent ZIP codes in Ozone Park and Richmond Hill had the second- and third-highest rates in the city on Friday.

When the distribution site opened, it filled a void left in the surging heart of the second wave left by the city’s vaccination site locations, which do not extend into South Queens west of the Van Wyck Expressway. Community leaders in South Queens, who had been watching the positivity rate increase at an alarming rate for months, have been critical of the mayor’s decision not to include Richmond Hill or South Ozone Park on his list of priority neighborhoods.

While a pre-existing drive-thru testing operation has continued in the Aqueduct parking lot, the vaccine center is isolated in the track’s mezzanine on the second floor. To receive a vaccine, residents simply walk up to the betting window and sign in for their appointment.

On the first day, New Yorkers trickled into the facility, which is largely staffed by the National Guard and state troopers, with limited wait times and ample parking.

The new site’s announcement last week, however, left some residents confused because it does not show up on the city’s Covid site map, leading them to wonder whether they were eligible. The conflicting messaging is the latest example of a gap of communication between the city and state’s vaccination efforts.

In a meeting of the Ozone Park Residents Block Association and Cityline Ozone Park Civilian Patrol last Thursday night, President Sam Esposito said that the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Queens community liaison did not have the eligibility information on the site when he had asked him about it.

“The mayor and the governor have to get on the same page because when they argue we get hurt. And that’s not right,” said State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) at the meeting, who added that his office had received inaccurate information about the vaccination efforts as well.

According to the state Department of Health, New Yorkers can visit the state vaccine website at am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov to determine eligibility and schedule appointments at the Aqueduct Race Track site.

UPDATE

This article was updated Monday after the site officially opened.

(81) comments

Mike28

Hope it's a "Drive Thru" site.

Lbraverman

Yes this is important since this area of queens has a high Covid rate. Will vaccinations be done inside the raceway or outdoors in the parking lot?

bonesaver77

will they be dispensing moderna or pfizer

Laurbritton

Does anyone know if this is a drive-thru site??

Laurbritton

Success! It is NOT a drive-thru (even though there is drive-thru for testing).

MarieGN

How was the parking situation? Any advice from your experience there?

MarieGN

Laurbritton, what was the parking like? Could you give some tips?

Lynnmarie

Can someone please confirm if this is a drive-thru. If not, is there a lot of walking since it’s for a very elderly person? Thanks.

Laurbritton

Not a drive thru. I was told it is not far from the parking lot to the building.

QueensCh

Thank you Laurbritton for your follow-up. I understand from your posts that Aqueduct it is not a drive-up but there is parking on the premises near the indoor vaccination site. I intend to drive there to survey in a while and will post an update about what I see.

MarieGN

One of the comments above states that it’s NOT a drive-thru.

guest18

Type of vaccine and how long a wait?

guest18

Does anyone know type of vaccine and how long it takes from arrival to departure?

QueensCh

I just drove through the Aqueduct site. At this time, there a few workers posting signs with arrows to point towards the Vaccination site so drivers can know where to go but, it is still very unclear which turnoff to make to try to park and hopefully, by tomorrow (which will be the first day for vaccinating on this site), it will be more clear where to park and then walk to the location for the vaccination.

condr222

coming from bellrose what exit off of belt pkwy any body know

tuckem03

EXIT 18B LEFFERTS BLVD AQUEDECT RACETRACK AND FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO THE TRACK.

Adalaide1

Are they giving Moderna at Aquaduct?

Adalaide1

Have an appointment. Are they giving Moderna?

Adalaide1

Moderna given at Aquaduct?

guest18

anybody get shot yet?

Tdr

Will the testing facility be closed? If not, will potentially infected persons from the testing facility be allowed near the vaccine facility (to use restroom, for example). It is bad endough it’s in a hot spot, but do not want to be infected between shots

guest18

Has anyone received the vaccination at Big A?

guest18

Has anyone had vaccine yet at Aqueduct?

MarieGN

I just got back from getting the vaccine this morning at Aqueduct! Excellent experience, very smoothly coordinated, and little waiting. Appt. was for 9:30 am, arrived at 8 and out at 9:35! When I was leaving the building, there was no line at all which really surprised me. Kudos to the doctors, nurses, work staff, and Army National Guard who orchestrated everything. By the way, it's the Pfizer vaccine. They give you your appointment for the second shot before you leave. Very positive experience!

guest19

Thanks for the info. Was it a drive thru vaccination site??

MarieGN

No. You enter the building, and it's all organized inside. Very well executed.

tuckem03

take the belt parkway exit 18b lefferts blvd. aqueduct racetrack and follow the signs

MarieGN

I got my vaccine there this morning! It was a great experience compared to what I imagined. Very organized, little wait, and smoothly run. Arrival to departure was about 1 1/2 hours. By the way, it's the Pfizer vaccine, and you get your second appointment before you leave. Kudos to the doctors, nurses, work staff, and National Guard members for their coordination efforts.

emartin

Can you share the information for how you made the appointment? Thanks!

tuckem03

no more appts avaliable. made appt. on line at 3am in the morning on 1/16.

Skyler

Hello, can I drive someone right to the entrance of the building since I don’t think they can handle the walk from the parking lot. Also, will they let me in to assist the person as a caretaker? Thank you

MarieGN

Forgot to mention that when I walked out to go home, there was no waiting line at all. That was at 10 a.m.

merylev

Was the entrance by the casino? Thanks MarieGN for the info!

Debbowls

Very organized. No waiting. Follow signs to vaccine.

condr222

Hey guys all is true they did a great job with this site.

guest18

2:30pm today had same positive experience! The entire staff very pleasant and helpful. No waiting at all in and out quickly no lines at all.

nancy316

I have an appointment tomorrow @3:45 thanks for the information.[love]

Macca

Does anybody know if you can do the 15-30 minute wait after the vaccine outside?

Debbowls

Some people went out to watch a race but not sure. Very distanced inside high ceilings. Seems pretty safe.

guest18

15 minute wait after shot in big open room with view of the track. It is not outside as it is under supervision of a couple nurses.

Macca

Thanks guest18

smokefree

Thank you to all who gave very helpful comments on today’s experience. My wife and I have appointments at Aqueduct next week. My wife uses a walker and will not be able to walk or stand for any duration. I’m thinking of bringing a wheelchair for her, however, I’m handicapped myself and won’t be able to push her in the wc. Does anyone know if the Army National Guard or any other workers there seem to be able to help assist us? I had mistakenly thought that Aqueduct and CitiField would be drive through programs - but they are not. Jones Beach is the only drive through that I am aware of in the NYC Metro area. Anyone know of other drive throughs?

Macca

Only other drive-thru is up, up, upstate.

MJHrubbish

My wife and I got our vaccines today at about 5:30. Our appointment was at 6pm, but they allowed us to enter about 5pm. No crowds, clean, and very well organized. You park your car and walk to the entrance. You can’t enter the building without an appointment for your scheduled time and date. We got the Pfizer shot and so far no negative reaction. Our second shot is scheduled for early Feb. It’s our understanding that the morning is much busier that the late afternoon. The staff are very thorough, courteous and informative. After the shot, you must wait 15 minutes in an open area. Overall, A+ because we were dreading the worse.

MJHrubbish

Regarding people with handicaps, there is handicap parking, an elevator that takes you up one floor and the room is easy to navigate and wide open. Not sure if you can get personal assistance, but there were plenty of first responders who may be able to assist.

MJHrubbish

My wife and I got our vaccines today at about 5:30. Our appointment was at 6pm, but they allowed us to enter about 5pm. No crowds, clean and very well organized. You park your car and walk a short walk to the entrance. Then, you walk up or take the elevator up one floor. You can’t enter the building without an appointment for your scheduled date. We got the Pfizer shot and so far no negative reaction. Our second shot is scheduled for early Feb. It’s our understanding the morning is much busier that the late afternoon. The staff were very thorough, courteous and informative.

Adalaide1

Still have not gotten the correct information regarding Aquaduct. Scheduled for second shot. Need Moderna. Can one get both at Aquaduct? Can’t get through to anyone for answer.

Adalaide1

Hi

Still have not gotten a definitive answer. At Aquaduct can one get Moderna shot. We are scheduled for our second shot, and we want to make sure we can get Moderna shot at Aquaduct. Very frustrated at not getting the correct information. Please help.

guest18

As of today only giving Pfizer and they schedule 2nd shot at time of first shot for exactly 3 weeks later.

Debbowls

Just want to say that you Can drop off in front of entrance. Then park and wait for the person to come out and pick up same place. It seems that they were helping people who needed it. No one is allowed in without an appointment so no relatives or friends to accompany them inside. Hope this helps

MarieGN

I brought my brother there on Monday for his shot, and unless they suddenly changed it, I was allowed to be with him from the moment we walked in and during the whole process. Were you directly told no one else is allowed? They knew I wasn’t getting my shot that day, but I was not turned away.

Debbowls

I think they got stricter as time went on. I was there at 235 for a 315 appt and they made me wait till it was 1/2 hour early. I guess it’s who is in charge at the time. ? It was my experience. I’m sure it’s for reducing covid exposures.

Nyredcar

Hi ...

What ID does a person over 65 need to bring to the Aqueduct vaccine site other than a NY State driver's license?

Do you need to prove residence in NY by bringing mail or rent receipts?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Nyredcar

Hi ... Question on what paperwork/ID needed for a person over 65. Is a NY State driver's license sufficient? Does the Aqueduct vaccine site require any additional proof of residency in NY State like mail or rent receipts? Thanks in advance for any info.

MarieGN

When I went with my brother on Monday (He is 82), they only asked to see identification. He showed his driver's license, and that was sufficient. Nothing else was needed.

tuckem03

are there signs to get out of aqueduct after vaccine back to the belt parkway eastbound.

MarieGN

So this morning, Thursday, Jan. 21st, my friend and I received our shots. My appointment was for 9:45 a.m., and hers was for 9:30 a.m. We arrived at Aqueduct at 8:15 a.m., and there was no line at all to enter the building. We walked in and had our temperatures taken, showed our registration ticket and ID, and were directed to the second floor where the vaccines were administered. No one questioned the time we arrived versus the time we were scheduled. Everything moved right along. I received my shot at 8:33 a.m., and my friend got hers at 8:45 a.m. She was in a separate area because she had indicated a health issue on her form. When I brought my brother on Monday, there was no separate area for special health concerns, so they must have changed that between then and today. I had to wait 15 minutes until I could leave, and my friend had to wait 30 minutes. We exited the building at 9:15 a.m. And yes, there are signs directing you to the exit and then to the Belt Parkway. Coming from Long Island, I was anxious about the whole process, but it couldn’t have gone any smoother. It was actually a pleasant experience if one could use that term. Very professional and organized!

mikeasmel

1) Is this one of the sites that is scheduled to close 1/21/-24 due to the shortage of vaccines, or is that only city run sites? My 92 year old father has his vaccine scheduled there for 1/24

2) Is there a contact website, phone or email for Aqueduct Raceway vaccines, that is different from the NY State phone number that no one answers?

gcashell53

Have app this week-end.

Is it open?

gcashell53

Does anyone if Aqueduct is open?

Have app tomorrow?

Darkaddict25

It city run sights that are cancelling appointments or are being rescheduled. It does not apply to state run locations as of now.

merylev

I had a wonderful experience Monday afternoon getting my shot. I had a Tuesday morning appointment but went with a friend on Monday. They let me get the shot! It was so well organized. The whole thing took less than 45 minutes!

Darkaddict25

I was wondering if I can go in with my very elderly mother. I am in the last group to get my shot. I know she does want me to go in with her. I would think there would be some kind of exceptions regarding the elderly.

MarieGN

I brought my elderly sister-in-law there this morning, and I walked right in with her. They could see that I was there to help her, and they didn’t question it at all. We were in and out in 35 minutes, including the 15 minute mandatory wait time. I have been there three times in the past two weeks, and each time has been an extremely positive experience.

Darkaddict25

Thank You Very Much for the reply. Mom will be happy when I tell her.

tuckem03

anybody know if appointnents on MONDAY FEB 1 will be rescheduled by this site if you cant make it there because of the big snowstorm coming our way. i am sure I wouldnot want to drive in that weather or workers even show up at all.

Macca

Does anybody know if there is paperwork to complete on site, and if it can be either done online, or printed and brought to site?

Darkaddict25

All you need is your ID and your registration ticket you got in your email. Just print that out and bring it with you.

Macca

Thank you, Darkaddict25. I know someone who sent to Jones Beach on Thursday and had to fill out forms.

Darkaddict25

I am very sorry for being incorrect. https://forms.ny.gov/s3/vaccine. You do need to fill out form and get a submission ID number. You can do it online or it will be there at the site.

tuckem03

THIS SITE IS CLOSED FEB. 1 DUE TO SNOWSTORM...

tuckem03

SITE IS CLOSED FEB. 1 MONDAY SNOWSTORM.......

nancyb

How is the experiance at Aqueduct going for those that have gone for their vaccine

Macca

I had my appointment yesterday and it was quite empty because of the snow. Everyone from check-in to leaving was very friendly and helpful and polite.

Went upstairs to the check-in window and no one was on the line. That took about 10 minutes, because it was 2 of us. Then we went to where the vaccines are given and were told immediately to go to a table. Got the vaccines and went to the large waiting area for 15 minutes. I went to go outside to be in the fresh air, but was told I had to be indoors where they could observe. Total time was 40 minutes with waiting an extra 5 minutes because the other person got it 5 minutes after I did.

Make sure to do your paperwork online and print the confirmation before so you don’t need to fill out there.

Suggestion: bring a folder with all your paperwork and also to put the 3 handouts (of multiple pages) you are given throughout.

Jcosenza

Are they still giving the Pfizer vaccine?

guest20

Any further updates on whether or not this site has the Moderna vaccine?

earlybird

do you have tobe a NYC/Queens resident to obtain your covid vacc at Aquaduct

Macca

This is NYS run.

marpan

I have an appointment 2/27 & my husband has on 3/9 at Aquaduct. Do you think he would be able to get the shot with me?

marpan

i have a question I have an appointment 2/27 & my husband has one on 3/9.Do you think they will give him a shot with me at Aquaduct wiht me on 2/27?

Nyredcar

Hi

Does anyone know if you can't make your appointment ... will they let you come the next day? I know the confirmation e-mail has a place to cancel your appointment but the person I'm asking for is "freaking out" thinking he will get kicked to the end of the line and end up with an appointment weeks from now.

Thanks in advance for any info.

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