STATEN ISLAND, NY – A vaccine ordering center will be set up at 253 Broadway across from City Hall on Monday to keep track of all vaccine related matters, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.
The vaccine ordering center will work with all parts of city government, including NYCHA, the Department of Education, Health + Hospitals, and other city agencies.
The Deputy Mayor of Health and Social Services, Melanie Hartzog, will lead the commanders center.
The announcement comes as the city prepares to receive its first doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. De Blasio said earlier this week that the first shipments from Pfizer and BioNTech the vaccine will arrive as early as next week.
According to a new data report released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the vaccine begins to provide protection against the virus after just 10 days of the first dose.
The two-dose vaccine has a 95% effectiveness rate after receiving the two doses three weeks apart, according to Pfizer and BioNTech, however, “strong protection” was noted 10 days after the initial dose.
The FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee officially recommended the vaccine for emergency distribution on Thursday after reviewing its recent side effect data report.
The vaccine ordering center will be the city’s central hub for coordination between distribution sites. It will also track and publicly report on key vaccinations and metric breakdowns, including rounding, demographics, and age.
“If we see places in the city where worry causes people not to take the vaccine, we will have a focused effort to restore confidence in the community about the vaccine,” de Blasio said.
“It will be a Herculean effort,” he said.
The Racial Inclusion and Equity Priority Neighborhoods Working Group will work towards setting up neighborhood vaccination sites in neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19, including setting up distribution inside NYCHA buildings.
The city’s Health + Hospitals clinics will also be distribution sites, he said. The working group will ensure that there is a fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine and will partner with 200 community and faith-based organizations.
Schools are “more advanced” on the priority list, de Blasio said.
All of the city’s COVID-19 tracking measures were above the city’s threshold on Friday: there was a hospitalization rate of 2.48% per 100,000 population; 2,559 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases; and 5.35% of city residents tested positive on a seven-day moving average.
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