FLUSHING, Queens — With New York at its lowest positivity rate since early December, more New Yorkers are about to get the all-important vaccine shot in the arm.
The city is opening a new vaccination megasite at Citi Field in Flushing Wednesday. The home of the New York Mets will be reserving 50% of their allotted doses for restaurant workers and cab drivers, the other 50% for Queens residents who take priority.
As the borough hit hardest in the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said ensuring vaccinations in this borough is vital.
“I want to see more [vaccinations] shifted to Citi Field. That will happen in days ahead. That has to become a 24/7 site.”
Even getting to Citi Field has been made easier as the LIRR stop at the stadium, usually only open during baseball season, will open up for those hoping to get vaccinated.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the federal government is increasing New York’s supply by 5% and he now has permission to re-allocate unused first and second doses from state nursing homes.
That said, the Citi Field site only has 800 doses to start for Wednesday through Sunday.
If these daily vaccine updates are starting to sound like a broken record, that’s because the number of people eligible for the shot keeps growing, while the vaccine supply continues to move at a snail’s pace.
Councilman Mark Levine, chair of the health committee, says the city is currently only getting about 120,000 doses per week.
“I’ll tell you, that problem is about to get a lot more pressing because, starting Monday, we’re adding probably another million people to eligibility in New York City,” he said.
Councilman Levine also acknowledges there needs to be a higher degree of community outreach, including going door-to-door, in order to outpace the spread of the virus.
“I could not agree more, this is so important. Not everybody in the city is scanning Twitter for updates on appointments, not everybody in this city even has a computer with an internet connection. So we should have to go to the people, we have to be on the ground, we have to go door-to-door, there should be someone with an iPad going through every door in public housing developments and scheduling on the spot.”
Levine estimates 25% of those who have been vaccinated in New York City do not live in New York City and that the city is not being compensated with additional doses.
Correction: The day of Gov. Cuomo’s announcement has been updated.