New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expanding the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility requirements to include 3 million more people after pushback from Mayor Bill de Blasio and other local officials and reports of doses tossed out, reports The New York Times.
The group will include people over the age of 75, firefighters, police officers, teachers, bus drivers, train operators and other frontline MTA staff.
“On Monday, you can start to schedule appointments. Pharmacies will start coming online, some on Monday, more on Wednesday,” Cuomo said Friday during a press conference on the rollout.
The city has only vaccinated 13 percent of the 917,000 healthcare workers currently eligible to receive the vaccination.
The Times also reported that a New York clinic had to throw out doses after some healthcare workers did not show to receive their vaccine and others decided against getting it.
“The hospitals were slow. They’re ramping up too slowly,” said Cuomo. “So we’re going to accelerate the distribution and what we’re going to do is add new distribution networks to supplement the hospitals.”
The state will launch a website where New York City residents will be able to make reservations.
De Blasio on Thursday demanded that Cuomo expand the number of people who can be vaccinated.
“We were ready to go and do a huge vaccination effort at the Department of Correction and the NYPD, but we were told by the state that they would not allow that,” de Blasio said Thursday. “They are allowing a smaller percentage, several thousand, NYPD medical corps members, and we’re going ahead with those vaccinations, but we really think the rules couldn’t be clearer.”
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