With the general public on the edge of their seats trying to figure out how, where and when to get the COVID vaccines, the city has put out a hodgepodge of general information through social media and city agency websites without any clear messaging on how or where to go to actually receive the inoculations.
Meanwhile, the vaccine rollout is causing yet another public rift between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo over the state’s “arrogant” plan to fine hospitals for not moving fast enough yesterday, with City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott M. Stringer adding in his recommendations for facilitating the process in his recently released letter on January 5.
“It is our obligation to do everything in our capacity to ensure the City’s role in the vaccine distribution is unassailable,” said Stringer.
The letter comes after concerning data shows only 25 percent of total vaccines allocated to the city have been administered citywide and only 31 percent of vaccines allocated to the city’s public hospital system have been administered, as compared to more than 90 percent administered by some private hospitals, said Stringer.
Stringer also called for the city to move quickly in creating a “standby’’ list of these high-risk individuals in the developing central health database and doubling down on outreach to communities on who is eligible for vaccines.
“While the City may not yet have State permission to vaccinate beyond the current phases, it must be gathering names of willing participants from subsequent phases to immediately vaccinate as soon as the City gains permission,” said Stringer.
Right now the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna may not be widely available to the general public until sometime mid-year, said the health department.
It’s being doled out in stages, starting with health care workers, first responders, nursing home residents and staff, and other people at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or of severe COVID-19 illness.
The next stage will include essential workers and “higher risk” people who are older or have underlying medical conditions.
According to the Mayor’s office tweets, there are supposed to be at least 250 vaccination sites by the end of January. Current vaccine locations and specific information on eligibility are here. They are available mostly by appointment but here’s a layout of the clinics and hospitals that have them so far and when they are open:
Manhattan: 158 East 115th Street and at 125 Worth Street are open Tuesday, January 5 to Saturday, January 9, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
227 Madison Street in Manhattan, open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Bronx: 545 East 142nd Street and 1225 Gerard Avenue, open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Brooklyn: East New York Diagnostic, 2094 Pitkin Avenue and the Cumberland Diagnostic and Treatment Center, 100 North Portland Avenue in Fort Greene. Both clinics are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week unless otherwise noted.
Staten Island: 165 Vanderbilt Avenue, open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The next hubs opening on January 10, this weekend, are located at Bushwick Educational Campus at 400 Irving Avenue in Brooklyn, Hillcrest High School at 160-05 Highland Avenue in Queens, and South Bronx Educational Campus at 701 St. Ann’s Avenue in the Bronx.
For the full layout of the state’s vaccination program, read the NYS COVID Vaccination Book here.
For more specifics on the vaccine rollout phases, check here to read the Mayor’s distribution plan.
[This story was originally posted on our sister site, Kings County Politics.]