Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced, December 31 on New Year’s Eve, the New York City resolution to administer 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of January.
“Like any good New Year’s resolution, one million doses by the end of January is an ambitious goal to say the least,” said de Blasio. “We are doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, but to really pick up the pace, we need our federal and state partners on board—and fast. It will be tough, but I believe that we can do it.”
The city’s unveiled 3-point plan is to double its weekly capacity and rely on additional support from all levels of government and private partners to get it done. The plan outlines:
- Receiving more concrete and comprehensive guidance in advance so that NYC can expand the number of eligible recipients
- Ensuring supply of the vaccine remainsconsistent
- Calling on private partners and local organizations to scale up their capacity to administer vaccines quicker
COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs will be launched across the city at NYC Health + Hospitals testing sites in January, where people can have easy access to vaccines. There will be a Vaccine Command Center helping to manage, triage, and coordinate the effort from hospitals, to community health care centers, to urgent care clinics.
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog said that these goals are ambitious and tough, but not impossible without support and teamwork. “We’re not rosy-eyed – we know hitting the mark here hinges on several moving pieces working together and lots going right,” said Hartzog.
As of Sunday, Jan 3, the statewide positivity rate was 7.98 percent with 138 COVID-19 deaths in New York State, said the governor’s office.
“As we move into this New Year, one of our most pressing challenges, along with maintaining our diligence in stopping the spread of the virus, will be to ensure that the vaccine is made available fairly,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo said COVID has exposed many of the existing injustices in society, most notably that racism is, without a doubt, a public health crisis. He said that data has continued to show that despite higher infection and death rates in the Black and Latino communities, testing has remained more widely available in white communities.
“I refuse to let race or income determine who lives and who dies in New York and I mean it. That’s why as we work to break down barriers and ensure vaccine access for all, I will not take the vaccine until it is available for my age group in Black, Hispanic, and poor communities around the state,” said Cuomo.
[This story was originally posted on our sister site, Kings County Politics.]