Javits Center Surpasses 250,000 Vaccinations in Major Milestone

March 30, 2021
Javits Center Surpasses 250,000 Vaccinations in Major Milestone

On March 24, New York’s Javits Center hit an important milestone for the health of its community. Since opening its doors on Jan. 13 as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, the Manhattan convention center has distributed more than 250,000 vaccines at the record rate of more than 14,000 per day. 

Considered the largest vaccination center in the U.S., according to Javits officials, the site is a massive effort carried out in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health and the New York National Guard. Hundreds of medical, military and civilian teams have worked in tandem to establish, maintain and improve vaccination operations. 

“Our vaccination center has reinforced the importance of convention centers during this global crisis, and our employees are proud to facilitate such a historic operation so we can all get back to business,” said Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which runs the Javits Center.

Led by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State’s vast distribution network of vaccination sites have administered more than 7.8 million doses, including those at the Javits. The state is currently working through Phase 1a and 1b groups, and New Yorkers wishing to check their vaccine eligibility can go here.

Located on Level 3 of the convention center, the vaccination site features one main entrance — 11th Avenue at West 36th Street — for all patients with pre-scheduled appointments. To reduce potential wait times, those arriving for a vaccine are asked to enter the building no more than an hour prior to their pre-scheduled appointment. 

Once inside the building, all patients receive temperature checks before entering the registration area. Once his or her information is confirmed and recorded, the patient is then directed to a vaccination area where a medical professional administers the COVID vaccine. Those who have received the vaccine are then asked to wait 15-30 minutes to ensure no adverse reactions.

In keeping with the over-achieving New York archetype, Javits plans to double its vaccination operations soon, with the hopes of inoculating 500,000 New Yorkers within the next two months, according to Steel.

“We now see vaccination as a way of ensuring that the building can return to its former glory of once again [hosting] meetings, conferences and trade shows,” Steel said in his March 24 State of the Center address. “We expect to be in this kind of condition for the next several months. I would anticipate that by June we will have enough into this vaccination program for us to think that being back to a convention center is possible but I’m not sure that we’ll be in [that situation] until about September.”

To hear more from Steel about the return of meetings and events, and new developments at and around Javits Center, watch his State of the Center 2021 address here.

Prior to operating as a vaccination center, the Javits Center served as a COVID-19 field hospital designed to reduce the burden on local hospitals during the height of the pandemic in March of last year. Constructed by Javits Center employees in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the temporary medical station was the first of its kind in the U.S. and served as a model for similar facilities across the nation, treating nearly 1,100 patients.

Considered the busiest convention center in the U.S., the 35-year-old Javits Center serves as New York City’s primary venue for large conventions, trade shows and special events, and is home to many of the world’s top 250 trade shows. A major expansion project that will add 1.2 million square feet of total event-related space to the venue is underway and scheduled to be completed this year. 


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE and engage with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.