Mayor: New York City vaccine supply will run out by Friday

Walgreens Pharmacist Jessica Sahni holds the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at The New Jewish Home in the Manhattan borough of New York City
Walgreens Pharmacist Jessica Sahni holds the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at The New Jewish Home in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 21, 2020.
REUTERS/Yuki Iwamura

New York City’s supply of FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines will run out early this week as demand for the inoculation continues to surpass the state’s supply of doses, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. 

De Blasio said vaccination sites across the five boroughs will only have enough doses to last through Thursday and will need to wait to continue administering shots until Wednesday, Jan. 27, after the city receives its next shipment of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine if the federal government doesn’t step in and bolster supplies. 

“If we don’t get more vaccine quickly, a new supply of vaccine, we will have to cancel appointments and no longer give shots after Thursday for the remainder of the week at a lot of our sites,” de Blasio said on Tuesday. ” This is crazy. This is not the way it should be. We have the ability to vaccinate a huge number of people. We need the vaccine to go with it.”

Since the Pfizer vaccine first arrived in New York state last month, a total of 455,737 doses have been administered in the five boroughs, according to the city’s vaccine tracker, with the pace of vaccination’s steadily increasing. “These numbers keep growing,” said Mayor de Blasio. “As of Sunday, a New Yorker has been vaccinated every three seconds.”

The city is expecting to receive 53,000 doses of the vaccine today, according to Mayor de Blasio, leaving the city with only 116,000 doses for next week. Last week alone, over 220,000 doses of the vaccine were administered in the city. 

De Blasio again said he is hopeful the incoming Biden administration will be able to speed up a sluggish vaccine distribution and help the city meet its new goal of giving 300,000 shots in arms next week. Again, the mayor called on the federal government to stand by their commitment to release 100 million vaccines within President-elect Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. He also urged Washington to ramp up its use of the Defense Production Act to allow for more rapid creation of vaccines. 

The news about the vaccine shortage comes as the city announced the creation of two new 24/7 vaccination hubs at Empire Outlets in Staten Island and Citi Field. In total, there are four 24-hour vaccination sites open in the city and 15 vaccination hubs run by the city health department. 

While the vaccine rollout has improved over recent weeks, it is moving at a glacial pace compared to upticks in new cases of the virus. City officials reported Tuesday that 255 New York City residents were admitted to a hospital with suspected COVID-19 on Sunday–all city daily COVID-19 indicators have a two-day lag–and new cases of the virus based on a seven-day rolling average reached 5,009. The city’s overall positivity rate based on a seven-day rolling average was 8.23%, officials added. 

“Every single person we vaccinate changes the reality…this is why the supply of vaccine is so crucial,” said de Blasio. With the numbers we’re putting up now 300,000 people in a week, come on. That is a game-changer. That starts to affect the overall environment if we have the vaccine to go with it.” 


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