Opening of COVID-19 vaccination center at Citi Field postponed due to lack of vaccine supply

Citi Field Mets Steve Cohen Bill de Blasio
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the mega COVID-19 vaccination site at Citi Field won’t open this week as originally planned during his Monday, Jan. 25, morning press briefing.

The 24/7 vaccination site — which the mayor said would be a “game-changer” in the effort to vaccinate all eligible New Yorkers quickly — was slated to open this week inside the stadium’s Delta Lounge, located at 41 Seaver Way in Corona. But de Blasio said on Monday that there is a supply and flexibility “problem.”

“Even though we don’t have the supply of vaccine we need — we urgently need more supply, we urgently need more flexibility with the supply we have — the vaccination effort keeps moving forward,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio said the city has administered 628,831 vaccinations since December. The city set an ambitious goal at the beginning of the year to get 1 million New Yorkers vaccinated by the end of January.

The city currently has 19,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and is expecting 107,000 more in the weekly re-supply, which de Blasio says is still not enough. Last week, the city had to reschedule some vaccine appointments due to a lack of supply from the federal government.

On Monday, de Blasio said the city has the capability to administer 500,000 vaccinations per week, if they are granted the supply and the flexibility they need from the federal government.

The vaccine sites at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx — the opening of which was also postponed — would be run by NYC Health + Hospitals and have the capacity to administer 5,000 to 7,000 vaccines a day.

The mayor said the city can move “so fast” if the supply and the flexibility to administer the vaccine to more eligible New Yorkers is granted.

“We have mega sites like Citi Field and Yankee Stadium ready to go, we want to get those to be full-blown 24-hour operations, but we don’t have the vaccine,” he said. “We’ve got local, neighborhood providers, folks who are at the front lines who can build trust, who can get folks from the neighborhoods to come in who speak their language. We want to have a really neighborhood-based approach to the vaccination, decentralized and grassroots. We can do that right now but we don’t have the supply. We need the supply and flexibility.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

This story first appeared on our sister publication qns.com.

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