Mayor Bill de Blasio said the focus will be on Queens residents who meet vaccine requirements, as well as TLC drivers and food service workers.
“Folks we depend on, folks who really have taken care of us and were there throughout this whole crisis,” the mayor said Monday. “There will be special appointments for TLC-licensed drivers and food service workers from all over the five boroughs.”
“No borough was harder hit by the COVID-19 pandemic than Queens, which has lost more than 7,000 loved ones, friends and neighbors to this insidious disease. The critical need for this mass vaccination site to prevent further loss could not be clearer,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said in a statement after the announcement.
“Just wonderful to be there at a site in the Bronx dedicated to the people of the Bronx, to make sure that folks who were among the hardest hit in New York City had the opportunity to get vaccinated,” the mayor said. “Now, we have to keep going and reach deeply into all of the boroughs.”
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Appointments had to be rescheduled, but the sites were back up and running Monday.
Joy Sommersett, a retired probation officer, arrived early at the Abyssinain Baptist Church in Harlem.
“The difficulty is standing in a long line, and then you get up there and you find out they can’t take you,” she told CBS2’s John Dias.
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She said she didn’t mind waiting in the frigid cold as long as she gets her second dose.
“I’m not complaining, because I’m thankful to be here,” she said.
This comes as the state expands vaccine eligibility starting Feb. 15 to include people with underlying conditions, like adults with cancer, obesity and intellectual or developmental disabilities.
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While the pool seems to grow every week, some Dias spoke with said they’re OK with it.
“I think that’s wonderful, I really do. But I’m glad I’m getting it now before the rush, so I’ll feel confident,” one person said.
De Blasio says the city has administered almost 998,000 doses — more than the entire population of Austin, Texas.
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