Not throwing away their shot: De Blasio hopes COVID-19 vaccine hub boosts Broadway

FILE PHOTO: Broadway theaters to remain closed until January 2021 in New York
A man walks past the shuttered Richard Rodgers Theatre, home of the popular musical “Hamilton”, in New York, U.S., July 2, 2020.
REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

The entertainment industry is approaching a rebirth from the COVID-19 pandemic as 5 million New Yorkers in the five borough have officially been vaccinate, Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed on Monday morning.

Regarded as a sign that more cogs in the giant wheel of New York City’s economy are recovering, de Blasio announced that a new vaccination site in Times Square will target entertainment industry workers in Broadway and off Broadway productions.

“We want to make sure that the film and TV industry comes back stronger all the time. Vaccinations will play a key role, we want to make it easy for the actors and producers and crews, everyone in the film and TV industry get vaccines,” de Blasio said. “We’re working with the unions in the film and TV industry – the industry itself, the companies involved – who have dedicated appointments set aside for folks from film and TV, and this is going to help this industry come back. But much more important, it’s part of the lifeblood of our city as part of just what makes us special.”

Actor Michelle Hurd joined the mayor and expressed how difficult the pandemic had been for the performers who have been out of work but believed the vaccination site, central to operations in the industry, would bring about an economic return.

“It’s taken a toll on all of us, but now with this dedicated vaccine site, I’m even more confident about the return of storytelling,” Hurd said. “This vaccination site sends a powerful message that the arts, entertainment and media industry is coming back.”

The mayor’s initiative comes a week after the state under embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed venues to open again at 33% capacity, with up to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors, after a year without the New York City staple of live performances.

The industry, however, may not get far financially without full capacity which may come with fully vaccinated audiences.

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