New York City could run out of its Covid-19 vaccine stock “by the end of next week,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told journalists Tuesday, calling on the federal government and laboratories to prevent a dearth of doses.
“The federal structure is going way too slow in terms of getting vaccine to us,” de Blasio said, echoing similar criticisms leveled by President-elect Joe Biden.
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After a slow start in administering vaccinations, the most populous city in the United States has accelerated in recent days.
Nearly a hundred sites began booking appointments starting Monday, and three large vaccination centers opened in the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
Just on Monday 26,528 doses were distributed, according to the mayor, who anticipated the city was “well on track” to reach its goal of giving 175,000 shots this week.
On Tuesday New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo widened eligibility to include those age 65 and above, based on federal guidelines.
Those age 75 years and older, along with teachers, police officers, firefighters and transportation workers, had already been eligible.
As of Monday, 216,014 New Yorkers had received at least one dose of the vaccines to fight coronavirus, with one produced by the Pfizer and BioNTech labs and the other by biotechnology company Moderna.
On Tuesday the mayor also announced that the Mets baseball stadium in Queens, Citi Field, would be transformed into a supersite for vaccinations, beginning the week of January 25.
The site will operate nonstop, allowing for the vaccination of between 5,000 and 7,000 people per day.
“We welcome all New Yorkers. We even welcome Yankees fans,” de Blasio quipped, referencing the longstanding rivalry between with the city’s other baseball team in the Bronx.