New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced an aggressive plan to vaccinate 1 million New Yorkers by the end of January, the largest vaccination attempt in the city’s history.
“This city can do it. The amazing health workers in this city are ready,” de Blasio said during a briefing.
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He outlined plans to expand the operational vaccination centers and set up new sites, or so-called “COVID-19 vaccination centers”, at community clinics and locations in the city.
“Our goal is to reach more than 250 locations nationwide,” de Blasio said.
“It’s going to take a lot of work, it’s going to take tremendous urgency and focus,” he continued, outlining the help needed from the federal and state governments as well as vaccine manufacturers.
The mayor said more than 88,000 New Yorkers have been vaccinated so far.
“We have to make a move now,” de Blasio said.
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The “decentralized grassroots effort” involves the vaccination buttons, extensive vaccination at test and detection sites, and the expansion of the ability of local organizations to perform the work, all while facilitating the vaccination center for vaccination.
De Blasio said affluent and privileged people are not allowed to “jump the line” for faster access to vaccines. The city’s first priority is given to high – risk health workers, residents and nursing homes and staff.
Furthermore, the New York Health Commissioner, dr. Dave Chokski, said the goal is to double the access points for vaccination within a month.
“Part of our strategy includes launching the first dedicated vaccine centers in the coming weeks,” Chokski said. “These are the vaccination clinics operated by the city that have quickly emerged as distribution points in school gyms and other sites.”
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The health commissioner said the first sites would be launched in mid-January and would administer 45,000 doses a week with plans to expand if the offer allowed.
The locations of the sites were selected and prioritized based on dangerous, hard-hit neighborhoods, “mostly communities of color,” Chokski said.
Finally, de Blasio marked March 14 as a day of remembrance to acknowledge that more than 25,000 New Yorkers lost because of the new virus.