Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
“This is going to be a banner year, an extraordinary year, and it all begins with the biggest vaccination campaign in the history of New York City,” Mayor de Blasio said on Monday.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The City will administer 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of January—at least that’s Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bold New Year’s resolution.
However, Hizzoner said on Monday that he recognizes that the goal cannot be hit by the City alone, without expanded support and increased coordination at every level of government.
With the Vaccine Command Center helping to manage, triage, and coordinate the effort, the City aims to double its weekly capacity for vaccination—from hospitals, to community health care centers, to urgent care clinics—through a three-pronged plan. First, COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs will be launched across the city in January, where New Yorkers in neighborhoods across the city will ultimately be able to go to access a vaccine. Conveniently located NYC Heath + Hospitals COVID-19 testing sites will also serve as vaccination centers, in addition to continuing to provide ongoing COVID-19 testing. The City is also calling on local organizations to scale up their capacity to administer vaccines quicker.
While the City is building out its capacity to ramp up vaccinations, continued and increased assistance from the State, Federal government, and private partners is needed to truly achieve these goals, including:
Receiving more concrete and comprehensive guidance in advance so that NYC can expand the number of eligible New Yorkers
Ensuring supply of the vaccine remains consistent, allowing the City to expand its reach to vaccinate more New Yorkers
Private partners: pick up pace of getting shots into arms and increase ability to offer more vaccines to more New Yorkers every day and every week
With all these pieces in play, this New Year’s Resolution is ambitious, but achievable, de Blasio said.
“This is going to be a banner year, an extraordinary year, and it all begins with the biggest vaccination campaign in the history of New York City. I want people to be clear about this: We put down this goal of 1 million doses by the end of January. Why do we put down this goal? Because we are convinced we need it and we can do it,” the mayor added. “And this is what is crucial to understand here, this is a moment where we’re going to ask everyone to join together in the spirit of extraordinary efforts of the past. We’re going to ask all New Yorkers to be part of this effort, every City agency, every hospital, every part of our society has to pull together to make these million vaccinations happen by the end of January, and then much, much more beyond. To get this done, we need help. We need flexibility from the State of New York. We need support from the federal government. We need the federal government to simplify the rules and to join us in making things move quicker. We need the manufacturers of the vaccine to keep delivering on schedule. There is so much that can be done if everyone acts in partnership. And I think that’s what everyone’s impulse is, that’s the good news.”