This story has been updated to reflect a new Covid-19 vaccine eligibility group established by Gov. Cuomo following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
* * *
After administering 434,800 doses over the course of four weeks, New York State will move to the second part of Phase One. Now teachers and seniors of 75, as well as first responders, public safety workers and public transit workers, were able to get vaccinated starting Monday.
Gov. Cuomo made the announcement Jan. 8, the same day the state set a new single-day pandemic case record of 19,560. The governor then expanded eligibility to include seniors over 65 on Jan. 12, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Earlier last Friday, Mayor de Blasio publicly begged the governor to make the eligibility expansion, stating that a significant amount of shots were sitting idly. New York City has only administered a third of its vaccines.
“This is really dangerous. If we can’t vaccinate the people who are most [in] danger, we’re going to lose lives we did not need to lose,” de Blasio said Jan. 8.
The mayor has been calling on the state to expand vaccine eligibility since Dec. 31, the day he revealed his goal to inoculate 1 million city residents in January. Shots are limited to medical staff and frontline workers who deal directly with bodily fluids, but the mayor called to expand the eligibility list to other essential workers, like teachers and police, and especially to seniors over the age of 75.
An average of 32,258 doses a day have to be administered to achieve the January goal, but only 52,700 were given in the first week, according to the city Health Department’s online vaccination tracker. Over 311,600 shots have been delivered to city vaccination sites, but have yet to be administered. De Blasio said 270,000 of those vaccines could, and should, be given to seniors.
“This is the single most vulnerable category. This has been proven nationally, internationally. They have the most need and the most desire for the vaccine. They won’t wait,” he said during his press briefing.
According to the mayor there are about 560,000 New Yorkers over the age of 75, more than double the number of available vaccines.
Seniors in nursing homes and adult care facilities are eligible for vaccinations, but those over the age of 75 who do not reside in assisted living facilities have to wait.
De Blasio said that when given the OK the city will distribute the 270,000 doses “very, very quickly.”
The second part of Phase One, also referred to as 1b, will likely last until March at which time seniors aged 65 to 74, people with certain underlying health conditions and all other essential workers determined by the state can be inoculated.
As of Jan. 11, over 212,790 people have been vaccinated in New York City, 8.6 percent of which received both doses.
At 4 p.m. Monday, the state will launch a Vaccinate Hotline at 1 (833) NYS-4VAX, or 697-4829, where callers can determine their eligibility. New Yorkers can also use the "Am I Eligible” app or visit covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov for eligibility regulations.
This story has been updated to include new Covid-19 vaccination and case data, as well as information on the state's new eligibility hotline.