NEW YORK — Several New York City officials formally demanded the city release racial and ethnic data of those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday.
Standing outside the city Health Department’s headquarters in Queens, mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was joined by City Council members Daneek Miller and Ydanis Rodriguez as they announced they’re working with attorney Norman Siegel to file a Freedom of Information Law request for the data.
They want the city to establish a real-time online portal to report racial and ethnic data related to virus vaccinations to ensure doses are administered equitably.
A request for comment from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office was not immediately returned Sunday.
De Blasio and city Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi expressed support for releasing vaccination data based on race and ethnicity on Thursday, but stopped short of offering a timeline for when the information would be made public.
“In the coming days, we do plan to share even more data, including demographic information and other ways of ensuring that New Yorkers understand how the vaccination campaign is rolling out. We want to do this in a way that shows it by age, by geography. And to the extent that is possible with our data systems, race, ethnicity and other ways as well,” Chokshi said. “So as soon as we do have solid, validated data that we can share with the public in that way, it’s our commitment to begin pushing out more and more in the coming days and weeks.”
The call for transparency comes as New York struggles to provide enough vaccines to those eligible under state Health Department guidelines.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state completely exhausted its Week 5 supply of vaccines on Friday and began administering Week 6 doses on Saturday.
More doses from the Week 6 batch are expected to trickle into the state from the federal government in the coming days. However, the governor warned the state will likely continue to run out before the week’s end unless New York’s weekly allotment increases.
Cuomo also doubled down on his promise to administer vaccines to vulnerable populations in neighborhoods hardest hit by the virus, many of which are communities of color.
The governor visited a new vaccination site at the William Reid Apartments in Brooklyn on Saturday. He said as more vaccines come to New York, vaccination sites will be set up at public housing developments throughout the state, so that those who are eligible don’t have to go far to get them.
“We’re bringing the vaccine to the community, in this case to the residents in this building … please take it,” Cuomo said.