City officials predicted Wednesday that all New Yorkers will be eligible to get the coveted COVID-19 vaccine before the end of spring — with May likely the earliest that eligibility would be totally opened up.
“I believe before the spring is over all New Yorkers will be eligible to get vaccinated,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing, adding, “The day is coming soon when all New Yorkers will be eligible.”
Spring ends on June 20.
Hizzoner explained that more than half of New York City residents — between 4 million and 5 million people — are currently eligible to get jabbed.
Eligibility is determined by the state.
“It’s going to take a substantial amount of time to get all that covered. This obviously includes the most vulnerable people,” de Blasio said. “I don’t think open vaccination happens in March. I don’t think it happens in April — maybe May, June would be my layman’s sense.”
Dr. Jay Varma, de Blasio’s senior adviser for public health, went on to say, “We want to be in a situation where [vaccine] supply exceeds demand.”
“I think based on everything we know about supply right now — I think the earliest we would estimate that would happen would be probably sometime in May or maybe towards the end of May,” Varma said.
City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said he agreed with that timeline.
“If [vaccine] supply does increase through the course of April, then I agree, May is the month we should look toward for every New Yorker who wants a vaccine to get one,” said Chokshi.
The mayor continued to call for a greater supply of vaccine doses to the Big Apple.
“In the meantime, let’s reach the folks in greatest need and let’s get the supply we need so we can really hit the numbers we could be hitting right now — half-million [immunizations] a week or even more.”
Since inoculation efforts began in mid-December, a total of 2,448,892 coronavirus vaccine shots have been administered in the Big Apple as of Wednesday.
“A great number, but it could be so much bigger if we get the help we need,” de Blasio said.
Additional reporting by Carl Campanile