City temporarily closing its COVID-19 vaccine hubs due to supply shortages

Members Of New York Police Department Receive Covid-19 Vaccine
A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at Queens Police Academy in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., January 11, 2021.
Jeenah Moon/Pool via REUTERS

New York City’s shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have been delayed worsening the shortage of the shot across the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, the mayor warned the city’s vaccine supplies would run out by Friday due to increased demand forcing vaccination sites to stop administering doses until Wednesday, Jan. 27, after the city receives its next weekly shipments. 

As a result, all of the city’s 15 vaccination hubs will close starting Thursday, Jan. 21 until the 24th and the roughly 23,000 New York City residents scheduled to be inoculated against the virus at these sites will have their appointment’s rescheduled one week from their original appointment. 

“We were already feeling the stress of the shortage of vaccine, ” said Mayor de Blasio. ” Now, the situation has been made even worse. “

Recently, the city’s sluggish vaccine rollout has picked up its pace with Mayor de Blasio touting on Wednesday that close to half a million New York City residents have received their first dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Just in the last 24 hours, according to the mayor, almost 40,000 vaccine doses were administered to city residents  

De Blasio called on the federal government to increase access to the vaccine by making good on a pledge from President Joe Biden to release federal reserves of the vaccine currently being held for booster shots in order to help him reach his goal in administering one million doses of the vaccine by the end of this month. 

Both of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have about a 95% efficacy rate in protecting recipients from contracting the virus. But both vaccines require that patients receive two shots three to four weeks apart in order to be inoculated. 

“Even the first dose provides around 50% of protection from the coronavirus,” said de Blasio. “If you are a senior citizen, if you are someone who is vulnerable, even that first dose means a whole lot to you.”