“At the rate we’re going, we’ll be out in about two weeks,” de Blasio said in his weekly interview “Mondays with the mayor” with Inside the town hall anchor Errol Louis.
De Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to push for a greater supply of vaccines – which should be critical as eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine in New York City extended Monday to all over 75s, as well as education workers, first responders and transit workers. All health care workers in the state are also eligible for the vaccine.
The city is also extending the opening hours of vaccination centers in order to vaccinate more people. What the city calls “mega vaccination sites”, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, are now open in the five districts as well. This week, the city will open three more of those sites in Lower Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens, with a second location on Staten Island the following week.
City officials aim to meet their goal of one million doses by the end of January, but Cuomo warned last week that someone could take weeks to get an appointment in New York.
When asked if there would still be a shortage of vaccines in the city when President-elect Joe Biden takes office and is expected to release more doses, de Blasio did not directly answer the question. Instead, he said he was convinced Biden would be aggressive in releasing vaccines.
To further increase the vaccination rate, as many New Yorkers in surveys expressed reluctance to get vaccinated, some suggested making vaccination mandatory. De Blasio, however, tells NY1 that he currently does not want to take such action for city workers.
“We’ll see if things change down the line. But for now, what I can tell you is that volunteering is the right approach. Obviously, a lot of people want this vaccine. For those who are hesitant, I think the vast majority are not. I think they want to see other people take it, make sure it’s okay, they want to feel a little more confident, ”the mayor said. “I think at the end of the day you can spend a few more months in this business and the vast, vast majority will want the vaccine. I would much prefer to do it on a voluntary basis so that people have confidence in what they are doing. ”
This story includes reporting from Anna Lucente Sterling.
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