The mayor anticipates 10,000 NYPD officers and corrections officers could be vaccinated in a matter of days.
“Having all of category 1A open to us, that’s a great step forward, but we want to go farther,” de Blasio said.
He’s now calling for authorization to vaccinate people over the age of 75.
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“Folks over 75 are the most vulnerable in this crisis. Right now we are not allowed to vaccinate them. We need the freedom and flexibility,” de Blasio said.
The mayor says he wants to start pre-registering seniors to get vaccinated.
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He also announced plans to open two vaccination sites this weekend that will be open 24/7.
People will have to be in an eligible category and have an appointment to get vaccinated.
One site is located at Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park.
“I think it’s most important to have all the vulnerable people go first,” Esther Robinson, of Sunset Park, said.
“Yeah, that’s what I think,” Robinson’s son said.
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The second site is located in the Bronx at the Bathgate Industrial Park.
“I think it’s awesome that they’re going to do it 24/7, give people an opportunity and easy access to a lot of people,” Bronx resident Jamil Ware told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
Soon, there will be vaccination mega sites for every borough.
The mayor praised the state for expanding to a category that folds in health care aids and officers, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there is a catch; it’s only for the officers qualified to render medical aid.
“They are all eligible as health care workers. Police who are not health care workers are not yet eligible. We need to get the health care population done first because they are the front line,” Cuomo said.
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“The categories are still way too constrained. Look, again, if we could get approval, which I would like as early as today for phase 1B, what does that achieve? Well, that puts another million or so people into play. That’s all adults over 75, that’s all essential workers, that’s all educators and child care providers, that’s all first responders. That’s a huge universe,” de Blasio said.
There is not, however, enough supply.
“We don’t have enough to do the health care workers,” Cuomo said.
The governor said even if there is leftover, unused vaccines at a hospital or nursing homes, those places must give the state permission to take it back and start vaccinating people elsewhere.
Even though this doesn’t yet apply to all officers, Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch says it’s an important step to get the “front line family of responders,” which includes cops, all on the same page.
“This is an important step towards clearing away the red tape and protecting both police officers and the New Yorkers we help every single day. This pandemic has only strengthened the bond between cops, EMTs, hospital staff, firefighters and all of the members of our ‘frontline family.’ When we respond together to emergency scenes or hospital wards, we need to have the same vaccine protection,” Lynch said.
The communications director for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office released the following statement, “Yes, we will follow the law and prioritize frontline hero nurses and doctors who run our critical hospitals and have been anxiously awaiting the chance to be vaccinated, plus EMS/EMT — and then go to Phase 1B: 75-yr-old+ New Yorkers who are at the highest risk and essential workers including police and fire.”
Dave Carlin and Cory James contributed to this report.
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