Mayor: Grocery store workers, shelter residents and workers now eligible for vaccine

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Shoppers jam a grocery store on Utica Avenue and Church Avenue, shoppers taking their turns to enter because of social distancing rules. This part of East Flatbush was hit hard by Covid-19, with 222 deaths in this zip code area alone. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

New Yorkers that live and work in shelters, as well as storefront facing grocery store workers, can get the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday, as more members of the state vaccination group 1B become eligible for the shot. 

The expansion comes a day after the state gave the green light for a number of new groups to register for the vaccine including teachers, first responders, firefighters, public transit workers, in-person college instructors, child care workers, and New Yorkers 75 and older. 

But the mayor wants to go further and is urging the state to allow for delivery workers to be inoculated against the virus. 

“All delivery workers of all kinds should get vaccinated. They are coming in contact with so many people, they’re serving us, we depend on them, they deserve to be vaccinated,” said de Blasio. “We want the freedom to vaccinate folks in bodegas and deli’s.”

De Blasio is asking the state to help the city clarify the rules of vaccination distribution for members of group 1B in order to reach delivery workers, deli workers, and bodega workers. And while the mayor asked for clarification on vaccination distribution, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New Yorkers 65 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine to reflect updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The announcement comes as the city works to speed up its sluggish vaccine rollout plan by increasing the number of vaccination sites across the five boroughs. On Tuesday, the mayor revealed a new 24/7 vaccination hub will open on Friday at Citi Field in Queens. 

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