By Lisa Rozner

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Mayor Bill de Blasio is setting the bar high for 2021 with a goal to vaccinate 1 million New Yorkers by the end of January.

He unveiled a broad plan Thursday, but the question is, will it work?

“This is gonna be a massive effort. This is gonna be part of the largest single vaccination effort in the history of New York City,” de Blasio said.

He’s hoping to have 1 million vaccinations one month from now, but so far, less than a tenth of that has been completed. Only 88,000 New Yorkers have received the COVID vaccine so far.

De Blasio says with the help of a vaccine command center, upwards of 250 locations citywide will become COVID-19 vaccine hubs.

“The first sites will launch in mid-January, administering 45,000 doses per week with plans to expand over time,” NYC Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said.


First, hospitals, community health centers and urgent care clinics will double weekly vaccinations, and then vaccines will be given out at places like school gymnasiums and community centers.

Queens Assemblyman David Weprin is pushing for senior centers to get on the list, so it’s easier for the elderly to get the shot.

“It would give them that comfort factor of going back to the senior centers where they have very fond memories. It would also be a large location where we can practice social distancing,” Weprin told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.

The mayor says the priority is still vaccinating front line health care workers and nursing home staff and residents, but if there is adequate supply, the mayor says locations in the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods, like public housing complexes, will have vaccination sites, too.

De Blasio says this kind of aggressive plan was not ready in December when the vaccine arrived because the focus was on making sure the injections were safe.

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But to make this new plan a reality, CUNY professor of public health Dr. Bruce Y. Lee says there’s a lot of blanks to be filled in.

“How are they going to operate? How are you going to get the personnel? How are you going to set up vaccination surveillance?” he said. “You have to make sure that the vaccines are stored properly.”

The mayor says the details are being worked out and admits this will only work with a clear roadmap of how much supply the city will get from the federal government.