by Joe Borelli on Apr 02, 2021 News

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The South Shore of Staten Island will be getting a city-run vaccination site on April 8, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

The much-needed site will open at the former St. Joseph St. Thomas school, located at50 Maguire Avenue.

South Shore residents have complained about the lengthy travel to one of the borough’s other vaccination sites. The closest site was at Staten Island Technical High School, which was shuttered two weeks ago when high schools reopened citywide.

The site was relocated to the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Father Capodanno Boulevard, which is further away from the South Shore than the previous location.

The mayor thanked Borough President James Oddo, who joined the daily press briefing, for his advocacy for Staten Island’s need.
“It’s taken a while and we were frustrated but we appreciate it. The good folks on the South Shore finally have a facility on the South Shore,” Oddo said following the announcement.
Oddo expressed his frustration to the Advance/ last week about the lack of a vaccination site on the South Shore after the mayor made an announcement about new vaccination sites in every borough except Staten Island.
“It’s frustrating as hell that it’s about to be April on the cusp of universal eligibility and South Shore has no site. Last week I was optimistic, now not so much,” he previously said.
South Shore Councilman Joe Borelli (R) was glad the mayor “made good” on his commitment to opening a vaccination site on the South Shore.

“We had conveyed the need to have ample parking and ADA accessibility and it would be tough to find a better location than this,” Borelli said. “I thank Pastor Dillon and all his parishioners for opening their doors.”

Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) said the location is a “start” and will serve his constituents well. “At this point well take any site we can get as a start but this is a good location,” Reilly said.

The assemblyman said a fixed city-run COVID-19 testing site is still needed for the South Shore, as it only has mobile sites since the closing of Mt. Loretto in February.

“This is the issue we all have it’s the bureaucratic red tape of getting stuff done,” he said.
The mass vaccination site at Empire Outlets will be receiving an increase in its vaccine allocation, the mayor said.
Last week he said the mass vaccination site would be brought up to full capacity with the ability to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the next “week or two” following the announcement of over one million additional weekly doses added to the state’s supply.

Empire Outlets has been operating from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

On Thursday, the mayor was again asked about the status of Empire Outlet’s vaccine supply and said a more realistic timeline would be mid-April, and then a large increase by the end of the month.

New York will get 1.65 million vaccines every week by the end of April as part of a vaccine “supercharge.” The 1.65 million doses represent a 33% on-average increase from current shipments.

“We are getting more supply and that’s what we’ve been needing, so we do intend to see Empire go 24/7 in the next week or two,” the mayor previously said.
Oddo said he and the mayor discussed doubling the site’s supply from 2,000 doses to 4,000 during their phone call.