Over 42% of total COVID-19 vaccines distributed in New York City

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination in in West Hartford, Connecticut
Mary Lou Galushko gives Jeanne Peters, 95, a rehab patient at The Reservoir, a nursing facility, the first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination in West Hartford, CT on Dec. 18, 2020. New York state nursing home facilities will begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020.
Stephen Dunn/Pool via REUTERS

Over 42% of all COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in New York City–more than twice the national average– since shipments arrived in the state a week ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. 

Just over 18,100 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been administered in New York City out of 42,900 doses given to healthcare workers at high risk of contracting the virus and nursing home residents under phase 1 of New York state’s vaccine distribution plan. Out of the 2,838,225 doses distributed across the country, only 556,208 have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Hope is on the horizon in New York City,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are moving full steam ahead to get out healthcare workers and nursing homes the vaccines they need to win the battle against the virus once and for all.”

The number of administered doses will continue to go up as more shipments of the vaccine arrive in the state and city.  Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday 346,000 doses of the recently FDA approved Moderna vaccine and 160,000 additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are scheduled to arrive in the state later this week. 

Governor Cuomo also announced 38,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered across New York state the largest amount distributed by any single state in the country. 

The vaccine arrived in New York state as new cases of the virus continued to increase. On Monday, City Hall reported 6.05% COVID-19 positivity rate for the city based on a seven-day rolling average and 2,802 confirmed and probable new cases of the virus. In addition, Mayor de Blasio told reporters 184 New York City residents were hospitalized on Saturday, all daily COVID indicators have a two-day lag, with suspected COVID-19 resulting in a hospitalization rate of 3.1 per 100,000. 

Although the vaccine is a literal shot of hope that one day the pandemic will be over, Mayor de Blasio urged New York City residents again to avoid gathering during the upcoming Christmas holiday in order to do their part in preventing new infections. Especially, since so many states including New York witnessed spikes in virus cases shortly after Thanksgiving. 

We all love gathering, but, unfortunately, despite all the warnings people gathered and in some cases didn’t take all the precautions. We saw a spike in the number of cases after Thanksgiving… this is a time where we really could see an intensive spike and we can’t handle another spike, so we need to, for all of us, be careful,” said de Blasio. 

And now that a new COVID-19 variant has been identified in the United Kingdom, officials are asking New Yorkers to avoid traveling even more fervently. 

“I just need everyone to understand, if we hang on for the next few months, if we do the right thing and we fight back, we can turn the corner on the coronavirus,” de Blasio pleaded. “We can avoid having to put into effect a lot more onerous restrictions – no one wants them.” 

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo said he will issue restrictions similar to what New Yorkers experienced with the state PAUSE order in aren’t brought down or if hospitals are projected to reach 90% capacity in three weeks. If hospitalizations continue to rise, a new full-scale shutdown could come as early as right after Christmas.