Due to the demand for COVID-19 inoculations, the city will run out of COVID-19 vaccines by some time next week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.
Vaccine distribution has been sluggish since shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in New York state last month. The city has since ramped up rollout with Mayor de Blasio aiming to administer one million doses of the vaccine by the end of this month.
Since December, the city has administered a total of 267,923 COVID-19 vaccines 237, 991 being first doses and 29,932 being second doses. Out of those doses, health care workers administered 20,599 on Tuesday at recently opened 24/7 “mega” vaccination sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx.
“Tens of thousands of folks have come forward wanting the vaccine rightfully and we are going to provide it to them over the next few weeks and then we are going to run out of the vaccine,” said Mayor de Blasio adding the city still plans on administering its goal of 175,000 doses of the vaccine this week. “I’ve confirmed with our health care team yesterday and even with the normal supplies we expect to have delivered next week, we will run out of the vaccine at some time next week.”
De Blasio urged FDA-approved COVID-19 manufacturer Pfizer and Moderna to step up their efforts in creating more doses and for leadership in Washington to release all COVID vaccine doses currently reserved for booster shots. President-elect Joe Biden plans to release all available vaccine doses in order to increase the number of Americans who could get at least one dose. Both vaccines require patients to receive two shots about three weeks apart to build protection against the virus. Pfizer and Moderna claim their vaccines have around a 95% efficacy after both shots have been administered.
“We need it now… holding back a vaccine when we have tens of thousands of New Yorkers ready to be vaccinated right now doesn’t make any sense,” said de Blasio. “The federal government and state governments’ current [shipment] of 100,000 doses a week that is not going to cut it.”
At the moment, New Yorkers in groups 1A, which include “high risk” healthcare workers and New Yorkers who work and live in nursing homes, and 1B are eligible to receive the vaccine. There has been some confusion over the rollout of vaccine and who qualifies as 1B, but as of Monday members of that group include teachers, firefighters, police officers, public transit workers, grocery store workers, those that live and work in shelters and New Yorkers 65 and older.