New York City was forced to reschedule 23,000 vaccine appointments this week alone, Mayor Bill de Blasio said as he warned that the city would run out of doses altogether by Friday.
De Blasio heightened alarm about the city’s dire shortage of vaccines and called for something to be done to free up more doses at a press conference on Wednesday.
At his own press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged shortages around the state and but shifted blame toward the federal government.
Cuomo said that the state currently has just 145,780 doses remaining and warned that the supply would run out in a maximum of three days.
‘What is clear now is we’re going to be going from week to week – and you will see a constant pattern of, basically, running out, waiting for the next week’s allocation and then starting up again,’ he said. ‘We’re trying to smooth it out, but we’re also trying to get it out as fast as possible.’
The seven million New Yorkers currently eligible to receive vaccines are currently facing wait times of three months or more to get appointments.
Cuomo has projected that it could be six months before all of those currently eligible get their jabs if the federal government doesn’t step in and increase supply.
Just under 908,000 people in the state have received their first doses of the vaccine to date, representing 84 percent of the supply already provided by the federal government, Cuomo said.
New York City was expected to surpass 500,000 vaccinations on Wednesday, de Blasio said, out of more than 940,800 delivered.
It comes as New York reported 9,273 hospitalizations statewide – the highest number since May 4 and a 50 percent increase from a month ago.
New York City was forced to reschedule 23,000 vaccine appointments this week alone, Mayor Bill de Blasio said as he warned that the city would run out of doses altogether by Friday. Pictured: People wait in line to receive vaccines at the Jacob K Javits Center
De Blasio heightened alarm about the city’s dire shortage of vaccines and called for something to be done to free up more doses at a press conference on Wednesday (pictured)
It comes as New York reported 9,273 hospitalizations statewide on Wednesday – the highest number since May 4 and a 50 percent increase from a month ago
During Wednesday’s presser de Blasio said he is hopeful that the vaccine will help bring hospitalization rates down as he boasted that the pace of inoculations in the Big Apple ‘is gaining every day’, but said: ‘We need the vaccine to go with it.’
A new distribution hurdle emerged on Wednesday, he said, when deliveries of 103,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine were delayed.
‘We already were feeling the stress of a shortage of vaccine. Now the situation has been made even worse,’ he said.
The city is aiming to reschedule appointments for the 23,000 people who had theirs canceled this week within the next week, Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said. He noted that no second dose appointments were rescheduled, only first doses.
De Blasio went on to criticize the vaccine rollout plan, saying: ‘We need to rethink the approach in this moment and be agile and be creative to address the challenge at hand.’
He called for second doses of the vaccine to be released from reserve because: ‘We need them now.’
‘Look, we know a lot of vaccine is being produced all over this country,’ he said. ‘We are very hopeful additional vaccines are going to come into play soon, but we’ve got folks right now who need help, who need to be protected. We need to save lives right now.
‘The way to do that is to free up that supply of second doses, to not hold them in reserve for weeks, not keep them in a refrigerator, but put them in people’s arms.’
New York City was expected to surpass 500,000 vaccinations on Wednesday, de Blasio said, out of more than 940,800 delivered. Pictured: People line up at a mass vaccination site at South Bronx Educational Campus
De Blasio criticized the vaccine rollout plan on Wednesday, saying: ‘We need to rethink the approach in this moment and be agile and be creative to address the challenge at hand.’ Pictured: A healthcare worker administers a vaccine in New York City
De Blasio said he has faith that positive changes will be made under the new Biden administration, adding: ‘We’re going to see a whole different level of production of the vaccine happening.’
He said the city is still determined to meet its goal of one million vaccinations in the next month, especially in light of recent surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
New York City added 284 new hospitalizations on Wednesday, bringing the total to just over 3,700 and hospitalization rate per 100,000 people to 5.08. That is the highest rate seen since the city debuted the metric last month.
The city’s average daily number of new cases also continued to rise and now stands at 4,692, de Blasio said. The test positivity rate fell slightly to 8.53 percent.
De Blasio said those numbers are ‘all too high’, but that there is ‘a chance to turn that around now that we have a new administration that we know will speed the supply of vaccine to us.’
At his own press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged shortages around the state and but shifted blame toward the federal government
At his presser later in the day, Cuomo indicated that he is most concerned with rising hospitalization rates on Long Island and in the Finger Lakes and Mohawk Valley regions.
‘That means more people are going to die, that means more elderly people are at risk and that’s a function of your behavior,’ the governor said.
Statewide, the rolling average for available hospital beds stands at 32 percent. In New York City, the average is 31 percent.
Rolling test positivity rates have continued to decline in recent days, with a statewide average of 6.84 percent as of Wednesday.
Just under 908,000 people in New York have received their first doses of the vaccine to date, representing 84 percent of the supply already provided by the federal government, Cuomo said. Pictured: Cars wait along a roadway outside a vaccination center in Wantagh
New York’s struggle to keep up with demand for vaccines is part of a larger trend around the US, as many states complain that they’re running out and tens of thousands of people who managed to get appointments for a first dose are seeing them canceled.
The full explanation for the apparent mismatch between supply and demand was unclear, but last week the US Health and Human Services Department suggested that states had unrealistic expectations for how much vaccine was on the way.
The shortages are coming as states dramatically ramp up their vaccination drives, at the direction of the federal government, to reach people 65 and older, along with other groups deemed essential or at high risk.
About half of the 31 million doses distributed to the states by the federal government have been administered so far, though only about two million people have received the two doses needed for maximum protection against the virus.
The US passed a grim milestone of 400,000 deaths on Tuesday, with deaths rising in nearly two thirds of all states.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the US has recorded 24,356,741 total coronavirus cases and nearly 124,000 people are currently hospitalized.