New York City assumes that the supply of coronavirus vaccines will be exhausted on Thursday, and will then have to cancel vaccination appointments at many vaccination centers in the city, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We will literally have nothing more to give from Friday,” said de Blasio at a press conference on Tuesday.
New York City received 53,000 cans this week, the Mayor said, and had a total of 116,000 cans in inventory Tuesday morning. But Mr de Blasio said that was nowhere near enough to keep up with the pace at which New Yorkers are being vaccinated. The mayor, who last week raised concerns about a shortage of coronavirus vaccines after an initially sluggish rollout, said the city will not receive more doses until next Tuesday.
Mr de Blasio and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo have urged the federal government to send more vaccines to New York after the state’s funding pool was expanded to include people 65 and over.
Nationwide, more than 835,000 people have received the first of the two vaccine doses – both state-approved vaccines are two-dose vaccines – and nearly 84,000 received the second dose, Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday. Even so, pressure is mounting to speed up vaccinations as hospital stays across the state topped 9,000 for the first time since early May, according to Cuomo on Tuesday.
The supply problem threatens the success of the mass vaccination stations the city has set up in each of the five districts, de Blasio said. The locations in CitiField, home of the Mets in Queens, and the Empire Outlets shopping mall in Staten Island are scheduled to open next week. “It shouldn’t be like that,” said the mayor. “We can vaccinate large numbers of people. For that we need the vaccine. “
The city’s immunization program has encountered several obstacles since the increase in eligibility. Buggy websites and complex registration systems have made it difficult for many New Yorkers to make appointments. Mr de Blasio said the city expects to have 500,000 people vaccinated by the end of Wednesday. The city had previously set a target of one million cans by the end of January.