NEW YORK CITY — New York City restaurant workers, taxi drivers, and residents in developmentally disabled facilities are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
The eligibility expansion applies to about 200,000 drivers licensed by the city Taxi and Limousine Commission as well as over 800,000 restaurant and food service workers.
De Blasio’s announcement came one day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said local governments statewide could choose to add one or more of the three groups to the 1B vaccination category, which is currently eligible to get the shot.
The expansion was made possible by another increase in vaccine supply from the federal government, according to Cuomo. New York is now expected to receive a 20% increase in the number of vaccines it receives for the next three weeks.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, applauded Cuomo’s announcement on Tuesday.
“Since COVID-19 struck New York City, restaurant workers have been heroes on the frontlines interacting with the public to sustain our city’s food supply, feeding our most vulnerable populations and helping maintain some sense of normalcy in our communities by offering limited dining options,” Rigie said in a statement. “The NYC Hospitality Alliance is committed to advocating for our industry, and is ready and willing to support vaccine education and outreach to the restaurant community immediately upon its availability to these essential workers.”
New York City has administered 837,292 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since December, de Blasio said Wednesday. However, vaccine supply continues to hamper the city’s ability to meet the demand from the pool of those eligible to get vaccinated.
This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.