Vaccine rollout won’t be bulletproof, officials say

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NEW YORK — By next week, 10 million New Yorkers will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s the good news.

The bad news is the state’s supply of the vaccine is still far lower than that number. The governor and his administration are expecting major pressure on their vaccine booking system as a result.

For weeks now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo also warned hospitals across New York state to ensure their health care workers are getting vaccinated. A chart shown during Monday’s press availability showed a wide disparity between what Cuomo called high performing hospitals compared to those that are lower performing.

Now, nearly two months into the vaccination process, a final warning.

“This week they have the vaccines for their workers. They had two months to make sure every person gets to take it,” said Cuomo

Hospitals considered to be low performing in that department will get their allotment of vaccinations taken away. The excess, according to Cuomo, would be sent to the supply chain for other eligible New Yorkers. Local departments of health, including New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, are now taxed with the role of investigating why some hospitals are vaccinating at such low rates. New York City’s Health and Hospitals complexes in both Harlem and the Bronx on Cuomo’s “low performers” list.

An NYC Health and Hospitals spokesperson said they’re confident in their system of getting health care workers vaccinated in large numbers.

“We continue to offer all our employees access to the vaccine across our hospitals, community health clinics, and skilled-nursing facilities,” they said. “Today, tens of thousands of our eligible staff have been vaccinated, and that number will continue to grow over the next several weeks as more and more employees become comfortable with vaccine. We remain committed to ensuring our brave health care workers have access to vaccinations when they’re ready to receive it.”

Meanwhile, with the success of the opening of a vaccination megasite at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, there is now good news for Queens residents.

Citi Field will become the next mega-site and will open exclusively to Queens residents, TLC licensed drivers and restaurant workers on Wednesday.

As the eligibility group grows, there are questions surrounding fraud and if more people will lie to jump the line for a vaccine.

Cuomo said Monday he expects it to happen and believes there should be consequences for those people. Though he stopped short of saying what those consequences should be.

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