According to The New York Times, New York’s egregious rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine caused two-thirds of the number of doses to be wasted.
Governor Andrew Cuomo released a minimal distribution list for the first phase. Only health care workers, staff and residents at nursing homes, certain funeral workers, and coroners are eligible to receive the vaccination under the state’s Phase 1A distribution.
Due to the strict guidelines, the vaccines were kept in freezers unused. In New York City alone, only 167,949 of 489,325 doses were administered. About 66 percent are currently unused. Meanwhile, in New York state, about 50 percent already received the vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccine became first available in mid-December. The Times reported that as of January 1, “about 88,140 people had received the first of two doses, the equivalent of about 1 percent of the city’s population.”
Manhattan’s Callen-Lorde Community Health Center received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for the employees, yet, more than half of the 600 doses remain unused for two weeks.
The center’s chief medical officer, Dr. Peter Meacher, claimed he feared breaking the state guidelines but wanted to administer the vaccines to high-risk patients.
Most of the vaccines had to be thrown out due to expiration. What a waste!
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary, Bill Neidhardt, revealed to the Times that clinics were “unable to give out doses because of the strict rules — or even had to throw some out.”
“This is so enraging,” wrote Neidhardt. “Utterly speechless.”
The horrendous rules on the list of qualifications caused a rift between the city mayor and governor. De Blasio demanded Cuomo expand the eligibility list, to which the latter positively responded.
On Friday, Cuomo included people aged 75 and older, even teachers, public safety workers, first responders, and public transit employees. The said group would be given the vaccine starting Monday.
“On Monday, you can start to schedule appointments. Pharmacies will start coming online, some Monday, more on Wednesday. We are going to have thousands of providers coming online next week,” said the governor.
“New York City has heard enough,” a displeased de Blasio tweeted, adding that the city will begin to administer shots to city workers and the elderly in 1B starting Monday.