NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Big Apple’s vaccine wars continue.
On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his decision to expand the pool of those eligible. But as Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi became the latest to contract COVID-19, questions have arisen about why city officials, including hizzoner, have yet to get vaccinated, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
It’s official — if you work in a restaurant, drive a cab or are developmentally disabled you can now join the pool of millions competing for the city’s ever scarce slots for shots.
WATCH: Mayor De Blasio’s Daily COVID Briefing
The mayor is especially keen on protecting food service workers with indoor dining resuming on Valentine’s Day.
“Indoor dining, obviously, involves people taking off their masks, eating, drinking, talking, laughing,” de Blasio said. “So we have to recognize there’s a vulnerability there and a potential for more spread of the disease that affects all of us.”
- New York State book online here or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX
- New York City book online here or call 877-VAX-4NYC
- Nassau County more info here
- Suffolk County more info here
- Westchester County more info here
- New Jersey book online here or call 1-855-568-0545
- Connecticut book online here
The mayor’s defense of allowing potentially younger workers to compete with those over 65 took on an unusual twist with the disclosure that Chokshi has tested positive for COVID. He has not been vaccinated and neither has the mayor.
“I want to make sure that every dose possible goes to our seniors and to our first responders and all the folks we depend on,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio is 59 and not yet eligible, although he could certainly join the ranks of politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and get a shot.
First lady Chirlane McCray is 66, eligible, but still waiting.
The mayor was asked if New Yorkers would be offended if he got the shot since he’s out in public so much.
“That’s a decision we’ve made and we’re going to stick to that,” de Blasio said.
How do New Yorkers feel about the mayor’s decision to wait?
“I think it’s honorable, but I also think that in practical terms the mayor is probably encountering an awful lot of people on a daily basis, so, logistically, I’d probably like to see him get it,” said Katie O’Neill of the Upper West Side.
“If he doesn’t want to take it, it’s up to him,” Angel Matta added.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think he should have got the shot,” a woman said.
“I think it’s a great idea. He’s in a safe environment,” another woman said.
The mayor said New York City has administered more than 837,000 doses since they first became available and while most vaccination hubs reopened Wednesday, some are still closed due to supply shortages.
- Ask CBS2’s Dr. Max Your Vaccine Questions
- COVID Vaccine FAQ From CDC
- Vaccination Sites In New York City | Call 877-VAX-4NYC
- Find A New York City Testing Site Near You
- Check NYC Testing Wait Times
- Explanation Of N.Y.’s Yellow, Orange, Red Zones (.pdf)
- Resources: Help With Unemployment, Hunger, Mental Health & More
- Remote Learning Tools For Students And Parents At Home
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
CBS2’s John Dias spoke with people heading back into the Jacob Javits Center.
“I’m feeling really good. I like to live,” Upper West Side resident Martin Klein said.
“I know eight people who have died, and I’m very grateful — as someone going on 80 — that I’m safe and protected,” another person added.
All appointments at city vaccine centers had to be postponed Monday and Tuesday.
One elderly woman told Dias she was relieved her appointment for the second dose wasn’t affected.
“I couldn’t have come out in the middle of storm. It would have been impossible for me,” she said. “I have a history of back fractures, so if I slip on the ice, it ain’t no joke.”
The reopening comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s announcement expanding the pool of those eligible to include restaurant workers, taxi drivers and people with developmental disabilities was a dramatic reverse course.
He said he changed his mind after the federal government said it will increase the state’s vaccine allotment by 20%.
The announcement brought ease to many taxi drivers, who have been working in close quarters with strangers throughout the pandemic.
“I’m worried myself. That’s why I put a partition here,” one driver told Dias.
Many of them even drove customers to their vaccine appointments in the past few weeks.
“Three to four trips every day,” another driver added.
Now, they’ll share something in common.
“I’m very thankful, I’m very happy. It’s going to be my turn soon,” said driver Gurcharan Kainth. “I’m going to make an appointment, I’m going to see when I can get it.”
CBS2’s John Dias contributed to this report
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK
- Mayor De Blasio Says He Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ For New York City’s Slow Vaccine Rollout To Health Care Workers
- New York City Sees Zero Daily Coronavirus Deaths for the First Time in 3 Months
- New York City Public Schools Resume Classes Following Winter Break
- ‘Time to Sprint’: De Blasio Announces Round-the-Clock COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs Amid New Surge in Cases
- How New York Plans to Fix Its Sluggish Vaccine Rollout
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Blames Local Hospitals for Slow Vaccine Rollout
- COVID In New York: Distribution Restrictions For Vaccine Creating Tension Between Mayor Bill De Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo
- New York State Identifies Case Of More Infectious Coronavirus Strain
- New York test positivity rate spikes to 8.33% - the highest since May - but Gov. Cuomo insists it is because of a drastic drop in testing and the number of cases hasn't increased
- How Connecticut is vaccinating at TWICE the rate of New York with a flexible rollout and 'last-minute' dose sharing - while Cuomo's rigid guidelines have left two-thirds of doses unused
- COVID Vaccine: Long Island Nurse, Lawmakers Say New York Needs To Speed Up Rollout
- Hospitalizations Surge As New York Bans COVID Evictions
- 'We thought we were going to die': SUV driver's terror as gang of 50 cyclists attack his car on New York's Fifth Avenue - amid surge in violent crime in the city
- Donald Trump says the national guard is 'ready' to go in to 'out of control' New York as looters ransack stores again - but 8pm curfew curbs the worst of chaos on fifth night of unrest
- New York will start scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for education and public transit workers on Monday
- Empire State's second wave: New York COVID hospitalizations surge by 80 PERCENT in four weeks and ONE MILLION residents have now tested positive - as Gov Cuomo vows not to get the vaccine until it is available to the general public
- New York gives more groups eligibility to COVID-19 vaccine
- 'Get it together! Do something with this city!': Andy Cohen leads critics tearing into Bill de Blasio for dancing during NYE celebrations after 'turning New York into a wasteland'
- Broadway 2021: What To Expect When New York Turns The Lights Back On
- FDA chief urges states to allow COVID-19 vaccinations of lower-priority groups
New York City Vaccination Hubs Reopen After Storm; More Groups Now Eligible have 1313 words, post on newyork.cbslocal.com at February 3, 2021. This is cached page on Movie News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.