Vaccine Is Running Out: N.Y.C. Is Days Away From Running Out of Vaccine


Christopher Occhicone for The New York Times


Mayor Bill de Blasio weeks ago set an ambitious goal for New York City: one million coronavirus vaccinations by the end of January. The sluggish pace of the vaccine’s initial rollout muted those hopes.


Now city officials are facing a new obstacle: There are not enough doses. On Tuesday, the mayor warned that the city was on track to exhaust its supply before the end of the week.


“We will have literally nothing left to give as of Friday. This is not the way it should be.”

Mr. de Blasio said.


Here are three things to know about the rollout:


Vaccinations have accelerated, but doses are limited.


More New Yorkers — including police officers, public transit workers and teachers — were allowed to begin receiving the vaccine last week. But as of Tuesday morning, city officials said, only about 116,000 first doses remained in stock.


Since last Wednesday, on average, the city has given out roughly 24,000 first doses per day. People are considered fully vaccinated after receiving two doses.


Another vaccine shipment is expected next Tuesday, Mr. de Blasio said. Still, with inoculation sites set to open at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and the Empire Outlets on Staten Island, he called on the state to increase its allocation.


Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has repeatedly urged federal officials to expand the supply and has asked the drug maker Pfizer to sell vaccine directly to the state.


Appointments will be canceled.

At least two hospital networks, Northwell Health and Mount Sinai Health System, stopped scheduling most new appointments last week, or even calling off existing ones. Mr. de Blasio said more cancellations should be expected after Thursday as vaccination sites temporarily close.


For many New Yorkers, scheduling appointments was already tough, with confusing websites contributing to the frustration.


There is a host of other challenges.

The rollout has sometimes resembled a free-for-all, as throngs have rushed to sites after rumors of extra vaccine. Some unused doses have even been thrown away.


Also, many workers at nursing homes in particular are declining to be inoculated, raising concerns about vaccine hesitancy among those who are in contact with individuals at a high risk of a severe infection.


And some public health experts are worried that the expanded eligibility will undermine goals to prioritize communities hit hard by the virus — primarily low-income New Yorkers and people of color.


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