While the cases of COVID-19 in the Big Apple they run at high speed on a wide highway, the vaccination plan continues to be stuck on a slow road that began to clear this Wednesday when the State Health authorities gave the green light for workers who care for the sick and elderly at home, In addition to officials from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and correctional facilities, they are incorporated immediately to the immunization program.
Mayor Bill de Blasio assured that he also encourages New Yorkers over 75 and all essential workers, including teachers, are added to this first phase of vaccination, reserved in the protocols for high-risk personnel of the hospital system and boarding schools in the elderly.
“We need the freedom to vaccinate because with that flexibility, we can reach many more people“, Said the Mayor who insists on the goal of one million immunizations before January 31st.
The municipal president confirmed that he received authorization to incorporate into the first stage a category of high priority people, such as the home care workers and effective of the Uniformed who answer calls from emergency to 911.
It is calculated according to the latest records that exist in New York City 202,000 home caregivers, of which more than 70% are from the Hispanic and African American minorities.
“This is a great step. I want to go even further with people who do crucial work for our families. Please get vaccinated immediately”, De Blasio pointed out.
Since this week, around 25,000 NYPD staff members they are eligible to be inoculated with the new drug. The City estimates that approximately 10,000 officers are already immunized for next Sunday.
Let’s vaccinate the elderly!
According to data from the City Department of Health (DOHMH) during the last 30 days, alarming trends are shown with cases and hospitalizations in adults over 75 years of age. 58% of the deceased in this period of time belong to this age group that shows a 12% positive rate of the infection.
“That is why we are convinced that New Yorkers 75 and older should be eligible for the vaccine as soon as possible. Several states have already prioritized this issue. As a City, we are increasing our points access to doses, doing everything we can to expand our response if we are self-directed, ”said DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.
Elected leaders condemn slow plan
Precisely before the controversies generated by the “slowness” of the vaccination scheme, New York City elected leaders this Wednesday they stood before the State and City Health authorities so that Hurry up and change the roadmap as for the groups that should start immunizing as early as this week.
“Home care workers for the elderly, employees of supermarkets, the ‘deliveries’, the workforce of the city’s transport system, New Yorkers over the age of 75 and residents of the neighborhoods with the zip codes hardest hit by the pandemic, who happen to be the poorest, should also be put at the top of the list, ”demanded Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President at a demonstration in front of a NYC Health + Hospitals testing center in Inwood.
The petition, which was signed by the presidents of all the New York City counties, a group of assembly members and councilors, and the Ombudsman, underscores that the vaccination process is entangled for a bureaucratic struggle between the Governor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office while the communities “continue to suffer economically and emotionally the punishment of the virus.”
Elected leaders condemned that the Big Apple for three weeks has received 340,000 doses of the new drug and to date they have barely injected 110,000 New Yorkers.
“The positivity rate is now at 9% and deaths continue to increase, while we have a slow and imprecise vaccination program. We need from the Health authorities clearer action guide and to immediately incorporate other groups of New Yorkers also exposed to COVID-19, ”said Gale Brewer, president of the Manhattan County.
Look at the poor neighborhoods
Similarly, councilor Ydanis Rodríguez described as an important advance that home workers who offer services to the elderly and the sick can soon be part of this immunization process, but he considers that it is necessary to “Take other jumps” in favor of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic.
“We must concentrate on the postal zones corresponding to the poorest localities where the majority are Latinos, African Americans and Asians, as well as how it was possible to expand the test plan that did not exist by any means last spring, “said the Dominican politician.
Meanwhile, the Quisqueyano Eleazar Good, president of the community board 12 of Upper Manhattan, advocates for Health authorities to use data from zip codes ranging from 10032 to 10040, belonging to Washington Heights – Inwood, where the highest number of victims and infections is registered to establish Immediate Immunization Priorities.
“Here the virus continues to rage. We must be in priority if you really want to stop the pandemic and thus recover the economy ”, argued the community leader.
Steps in NYC:
- 25 access points, spanning community clinics, urgent care sites and Health + Hospitals locations, as well as emerging DOHMH clinics, joined the immunization strategy in the Big Apple this week.
- 100,000 inoculaciones It is the goal that the City has set for itself this week.
How long do you have to get vaccinated?
For more detailed information on phases, appointments and doubts about the vaccination plan in New York City see: nyc.gov/covid19/vaccine
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.