Here's Your Last Chance to Get Vaccinated at This Iconic NYC Museum

The museum will still offer free at-home COVID tests, available for pickup at its 77th Street entrance

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Nearly 12 months after debuting as one of the most exciting places to get vaccinated in New York City, the American Museum of Natural History is preparing to wrap up a vaccination drive that has given out almost 100,000 shots.

During its first few months, the museum offered New Yorkers the chance to get their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine underneath the iconic blue whale before moving the site to Gallery 77.

Since the museum first started distributing shots on April 23, 2021, more than 97,000 vaccinations have been handed out, according to museum officials.

Vaccinations will be available inside the museum through March 31, at which point a mobile vaccination bus will be parked temporarily outside at 77th Street and Central Park West.

Anyone who roles up their sleeves and gets a first, second or third shot at the museum by Thursday will still be offered free admission.

As the Times Square site gives some people hope that Broadway could return for the first time in more than a year, another vaccination site is opening inside one of the most famous exhibits at the Museum of Natural History. NBC New York's Andrew Siff reports.

The bandage placed on the fin of the iconic blue whale in the museum's Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, where vaccines were first offered, will remain a permanent fixture.

“It is my hope that, in years to come, images of people getting vaccinated under the iconic blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life will be a reminder of  New York and New Yorkers fighting back, caring for themselves and one another, and of the Museum providing support and hope," Museum President Ellen Futter said.

And while vaccinations will no longer be offered at the museum, New Yorkers can still pickup free at-home COVID tests at its 77th Street entrance. Tests are available Wednesday through Sunday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

COVID cases are on the rise again in New York City as the BA.2 variant grows more prevalent, though the numbers are still a tiny fraction of the peaks seen earlier this year.

As of Sunday morning, the city's latest data had the rolling seven-day average of new cases at 906, up at least 45% in almost a week.

To be sure, these numbers are a tiny fraction of where they were at the worst of the omicron variant surge, when things were perhaps 30x worse than they are now. Hospitalizations also continue to fall, and are about 1% of what they were at the worst of omicron in early January.

Booster doses remain low among New Yorkers. City data shows roughly one-third of all residents received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers

Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC

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