NEW YORK CITY – Wealthy New Yorkers will not be allowed to exercise their privilege of getting the coronavirus vaccine before their deadline, Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised.
De Blasio made the promise on Wednesday during a briefing in which he and other officials detailed plans for the distribution of the vital vaccine.
Hospitals in New York City will receive the first shipments of a vaccine developed by Pfizer starting Dec. 15, pending federal approval, officials said.
But when a reporter asked about President Donald Trump and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently receiving literally special treatment for their coronavirus cases, de Blasio smiled knowingly at Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi. De Blasio said that when it comes to vaccines, distribution priorities set by federal and state health officials will be strictly followed.
“We will not allow privileged people to jump the line,” he said.
“Anyone who thinks their privilege puts them ahead of other people in need, that’s not going to happen in New York,” he repeated.
Frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by other high-risk New Yorkers in a streak that is still being phased out, said Chokshi.
He said preparations are underway to receive the vaccine, which requires special handling and ultra-cold storage. Fifty-four hospitals will receive vaccine shipments directly from a Pfizer facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he said.
Those deliveries could depend on the approval of the vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to take place on Thursday, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Chokshi said New Yorkers who want to learn more about the vaccine can visit a new site at nyc.gov/COVIDVaccine.