NEW YORK — Slowly but now more steadily, COVID-19 vaccines are again arriving in New York.
Winter weather interrupted last week’s supply and appointments. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the slow down won’t stop the city’s efforts and believes he can still get 5 million New Yorkers vaccinated by June.
“I actually think this could be our biggest week ever,” said New York City Councilmember Mark Levine, who heads the council’s health committee.
Levine believes one major hurdle will continue to frustrate too many New Yorkers: getting an actual appointment for the vaccine.
That is the point, community leaders in Harlem emphasized Monday. They urged officials at both state and local levels to do better to ensure those living in the neighborhoods where vaccine sites are placed receive priority.
The supply increase is good news, especially on Long Island, where a number of people vaccinated at the state’s Jones Beach site will need a do-over.
According to state health officials, on Feb. 15, a small number of vaccines were compromised because of temperatures sensitivities.
This impacted 81 shots.
In a statement to PIX11, New York State Department of Health said:
“New Yorkers’ health and safety is our top priority, and due to this vaccine’s very specific temperature sensitivity, we have a process in place to identify if any temperature excursions occur. This process worked, allowing us to quickly pinpoint this issue, identify the extremely small number of individuals impacted, and immediately begin taking action. The Department of Health has determined there was no health risk to New Yorkers, and we have contacted everyone involved to reschedule their appointments as soon as possible.”
In an additional pandemic development, the South African variant has now been identified in Nassau County.
This was not linked to travel and one of the first signs of that variant spreading by community transmission in the state. This week the city’s health officials are expected to release a report on variants and exactly how many have been identified by sequencing.