The COVID-19 vaccination process in New York entered a great abyss this Friday, when Governor Andrew Cuomo recognized that “today we run out of supplies. All doses from week one to week will be used up at the end of the day. They may already be sold out ”, specified the president during a briefing at noon.
The Governor reported that “for now” there is no news about a “short-term” increase in doses for New York, it is expected to receive 250,000 doses next week, of which 109,000 will be destined for the Big Apple. At the current rate of distribution this lot it would last only about three days.
With 300,000 injections waiting in refrigerators for second injections in New York City, it has been raised in recent hours as ‘plan B’ give them as first doses, this would imply delay the second injection for a few weeks for those who have already received the initial dose. This idea is subject to authorization by the Federal Administration.
Both the Governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that this week the inoculation plan was accelerated, but vaccines fell short for the broad demand of people over 65 years of age, teachers, police officers, rescuers and health personnel and nursing homes that apply for the stages 1A and 1B.
In the middle of next week
In New York City, more than half a million people have been vaccinated by City programs, but there is only hope that many vaccination centers will reactivate in the middle of next week when the federal government sends more doses.
“We are looking for clear answers and I want to be fair to Joe Biden’s new team. They are just walking through the door. I think i know they will need a few days to have a clear idea of the vaccines available for each region ”, de Blasio said.
Journalistic sources assure that Governor Cuomo, trying to speed up the pace, did some paperwork to buy the doses directly from the pharmaceutical companiesBut that requires authorization from Washington.
Only in the Big Apple 22,000 appointments scheduled for this weekend had to be canceled and 15 immunization centers were provisionally closed, because as the Health authorities had calculated, they are finishing doses of the new drug from Pfizer and Moderna.
With the water up to the neck
The New York Health authorities report that until this Friday, the 93% of immunizations Targeted first doses had been injected.
“We have the operational capacity to do even more, but we need more supplies because the real problem is that the demand exceeds supply ”, Cuomo specified.
During the second week of the vaccine launch, after December 15, New York received 392,000 doses. Since then that number has dropped to around 250,000 every seven days. Even as the number of people eligible for inoculation has expanded.
The appointment that does not arrive
Only the group of adults over 65 years eligible to be injected in the entire state amounts to 1.8 million.
To that segment belongs the Dominican Asia Pichardo, 70, who lives a few blocks from the only vaccination center available in the Upper Manhattan in ‘The Armory Track and Field”. This immigrant since last week is trying to get an appointment, because as she herself warns: he wants to live many more years.
“I even came personally to see if they would help me. Dating in itself is very complicated. We have no choice but be patient and keep taking care of us, while the vaccine arrives ”, the islander commented resignedly.
The experience of Puerto Rican teacher from Queens Vicente Salazar, 45, perhaps it graphs the experience of thousands of people, since he relates that he has remained for hours since last Monday, January 11, in the virtual appointment system of the City. To the date, could not program anything.
“This is complicated. If this is the formula to open schools in September, it seems to me that we will be a long way from achieving it ”, he stressed.
Indeed, with this “slowdown” that the vaccination strategy receives, it is mathematically impossible for the Health authorities of New York City to achieve their goal of reaching the arm of 1,000,000 eligible individuals prior to January 31.
The delays in the strategy for the distribution of the “antidote” that would win the war against the pandemic and allow the economy to normalize in a few months, continues to be the center of debate in many sectors.
Spokesmen for the Single Federation of Teachers (FUT) warn that the reduced availability of new drugs could delay the opening of schools of New York City posed for the fall.
“Greater vaccine availability is the key to fully reopening everything from schools to businesses,” said Michael Mulgrew, leader of the FUT in a statement.
The president of the Health Commission of the Muncipapal Council Mark Levine assured that there are “alarming signs” that vaccination against COVID-19 “is leaving people of color aside “, for which he demanded a numerical breakdown by the City Department of Health (DOHMH) of where and what racial group the doses are being administered to.
“We must act now to fix another dire situation of inequality and racial inequity, in the management of the pandemic ”, he asserted on his twitter account.
The councilor denounced that very few immunization centers have been installed in the poorest neighborhoods. In addition, he criticized that the digital system to obtain appointments is extremely complex and slow.
“We are behind in the effort to establish confidence in the vaccine among New Yorkers blacks and immigrants. We should partner with community organizations on the ground, raising the voices of local leaders. We spent more than 40 million dollars on the dissemination of the 2020 Census. We need even more to reach the majority ”, he concluded.
There are alarming signs that covid vaccination in NYC is disproportionately leaving behind people of color.
** We need to see data on the racial breakdown of vaccinations. **
And we need to take action now to fix yet another egregious case of inequity in this pandemic. 1/
– Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) January 22, 2021
Will post details
Mayor De Blasio reacted to the request of the local legislator, promising that in a matter of days the DOHMH will publish more details of the immunization process.
“Everything will be transparent. I agree with Mark Levine on the most important point. We have to understand that there is mistrust, particularly in communities of color about the vaccine, after the horrible history in this country with scientific experimentation with minorities, “he said.
The municipal president assured that they have already begun to work with community groups, so that they speak the same language of their neighborhoods, and then expand the inoculation route in localities such as Washington Heights and Inwood.
The ups and downs of the vaccine
- 1,017,350 vaccines have been shipped to NYC
- 572,910 They had been administered until this Friday at noon by the immunization strategy of the Department of Health of the City of New York (DOHMH).
- 77,623 second doses have been applied so far in the city.
- 80,000 Daily doses have been applied on average over the past five days throughout NY.
- 250,000 vaccines to receive NY next week at the current rate of distribution it would only last three days. That means the refrigerators will be empty again next weekend.
- 2.1 million of people in group 1A (health sector workers) is the State’s vaccination goal.
- 3.2 million are eligible for group 1B in NY (education personnel, police, rescuers, firefighters and seniors).