New York City is combating the holiday coronavirus infection spike by rolling out its first round of Covid-19 vaccines to frontline workers in hospitals and nursing homes.
The vaccine’s first phase prioritizes frontline workers in healthcare settings and vulnerable populations (the elderly) and is expected to conclude sometime in January throughout the state. The second phase of vaccination will cover essential workers (police, grocery store employees, teachers, public transportation workers, and others) as well as civilians with underlying health conditions which make them more prone to contracting the disease. New York has streamlined the vaccine’s arrival, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated that it is “the most aggressive distribution administration program” dedicated for frontline workers.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stated his conviction that the vaccine coverage will efficiently happen. “This vaccination effort is literally in its infancy. [We’re just days into it. The hospitals are learning how to use the vaccine for the first time…We expect to keep getting the deliveries and keeping able to turn around and get people vaccinated. But the storm at this point does not present any meaningful change to our schedule.” Despite the snow storm, a drastic transportation delay is not expected from delivering more vials from its Michigan parent facility.
Sandra Lindsay, the director of critical care nursing in a nearby hospital, was televised while she was being vaccinated. Lindsay, who is African-American, wanted to serve as the voice for communities of color to send a message about the effectiveness of the vaccine and to increase trust in it.
On December 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the emergency use authorization that allowed the first distribution of the vaccine, created by Pfizer-BioNTech, to be distributed to Americans. This vaccine is administered in two rounds and three weeks apart. The Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which accelerated the vaccine’s creation, partnered with CVS and Walgreens to administer it to nursing homes free of cost.