Goal of vaccinating five million New Yorkers by June nears fruition: de Blasio

goal of vaccinating
The city has already vaccinated more than four million people, and will mostly likely reach its goal of inoculating five million before the mayor’s June goal.
NYC Mayoral Photography Unit

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of vaccinating five million New Yorkers against COVID-19 by June is inching towards completion, the mayor announced on Monday.

“This is amazing stuff,” de Blasio said during his Monday press conference. “The number of people being vaccinated now in New York City is skyrocketing and [there’s] more good news ahead as more supplies are coming.”

With an expected 77,000 additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine set to arrive in the coming days, the mayor said that he thinks the number of vaccinated New Yorkers, which have already topped four million, will reach five million by June. Last week alone, half a million New Yorkers were inoculated, de Blasio said. 

The burgeoning vaccination effort is due in part to the city’s initiative to vaccinate homebound seniors and its pop-up sites in houses of worship and community centers, the mayor claimed. 

“We’re reaching a lot of people who it’s particularly important to reach with that vaccine, so we’re going out into communities, pop-up locations and public housing, houses of worship,” he said. “We’re continuing to expand all over the city, so you’re going to see a number of sites up this week, new sites.”

Even if New York City’s vaccination effort reaches de Blasio’s goal, not all venues will be permitted to reopen. The mayor remained adamant that in-person Broadway shows will most likely remain banned until September, and de Blasio’s administration has slammed the embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo for allowing indoor fitness classes and indoor college sports to resume.

“Our experience with COVID-19 leads to a clear answer: yes, we have to remain concerned, we have to remain vigilant. All the more so because we have a chance to be in the homestretch of this marathon because of vaccination, and the places where we are the most concerned are what we have consistently messaged over the last few weeks, and the last few months,” said Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dave Chokshi. “We know outdoors is safer than indoors. We know that places where people are not able to wear a mask consistently and properly are higher risk activities, and we know that larger gatherings confer more risks than smaller gatherings. So those are the activities where we really have to ensure that we remain cautious and methodical with respect to reopening.”

De Blasio said it may be too early to tell whether or not the vaccination effort has caused the city’s decline in hospitalizations and deaths, but remained confident that the virus will eventually be defeated. 

This story first appeared on AMNY.com