“To make this work, we’re going to need the help of the federal government, the state government and the manufacturers to keep getting us the vaccine,” de Blasio said during a Tuesday press conference. “At the rate we’re going, we’re going to be out in less than two weeks.”
The city is on track to hit its goal of 175,000 vaccinations in a week and plans to launch a “mega” vaccination site at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, at the end of January, de Blasio said.
“Freedom to vaccinate is what allowed us to do this, and we’re now going to take full advantage of this freedom and reach New Yorkers in every part of the five boroughs,” he said. “We want the freedom to vaccinate delivery workers. We want the freedom to vaccinate folks who work in bodegas and delis. They’re there on the front lines.”
“We’re asking the state to help us clarify the rules … so we can reach all kinds of delivery workers, deli workers, bodega workers and keep everyone safe,” de Blasio continued.
De Blasio was frustrated with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s vaccine eligibility rules last week.
Cuomo announced Friday that his state would begin expanding eligibility for the vaccine to seniors aged 75 and over starting Monday. The decision came hours after de Blasio begged him to loosen regulations after his plan to vaccinate the NYPD was struck down.
According to New York’s original guidelines, the first tier of the vaccines were to be distributed to high-risk hospital workers, EMS workers, urgent care providers, residents and staff at nursing homes – among a few other select groups.
As of Monday, the U.S. had distributed over 25.4 million doses of vaccine, but only administered 8.9 million. In an effort to speed up COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the Trump administration is asking states to widen distribution to include people ages 65 and older, and others who are at high risk for severe illness by releasing second doses that were previously being reserved for those who already had the first shot.
Fox News’ Caleb Parke, Alexandria Hein and Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.