Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he’s confident the city can inoculate all the Big Apple’s homebound senior citizens against COVID-19 using Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved single-dose shot over the next two months.
“We’ve been creating a plan to reach them, but what we really needed was the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing.
“Think about someone who cannot get out of the house, think about their loved ones and the fear and anxiety that they have for them — and they just want them to be protected,” said Hizzoner. “Finally we have a vaccine that can do that in one shot and a vaccine that’s actually flexible enough that we can use, even going door-to-door in a building.”
Last week, the city launched its initiative to vaccinate homebound seniors with the single-dose inoculation in The Bronx’s Co-Op City. From there, at-home shots were then administered in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach and Far Rockaway in Queens.
“This effort is going to continue across the five boroughs very rapidly,” de Blasio said as he explained that this week homebound seniors will be vaccinated in The Bronx, Coney Island, the Lower East Side, East Harlem, Jamaica and the North Shore on Staten Island.
Next week, the city aims to do vaccinate at least 1,200 home-bound residents, and then ultimately ramp up to 3,000 per week.
“Our goal is to reach all homebound seniors — all homebound seniors in this city who want to be vaccinated — between this month and next month,” de Blasio said. “Over the next seven weeks or so we believe we can reach every single one.”
There are between 14,000 and 23,000 fully homebound residents in the Big Apple.
Homebound locals can sign up to partake in the program by calling 877-VAX-4-NYC or visiting vax4nyc.nyc.gov.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced that the state will open 10 more mass vaccination sites in the coming weeks, including one in The Bronx at a yet-to-be determined location.
There will also be three sites on Long Island — at Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus, Suffolk Community College’s Brentwood campus, and SUNY Old Westbury — as well as two in the Hudson Valley, at SUNY Orange and the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz.
De Blasio also announced that the city will host a virtual memorial Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed New Yorker who died as a result of the coronavirus.
“We’re going to mark Sunday with a COVID day of remembrance,” de Blasio said. “We’re going to mark Sunday with a sense of respect and love for the families who have lost loved ones in this crisis … We’re going to remember the people we’ve lost, we’re going to hold them close.”
New Yorkers can submit the names and photos of loved ones who passed away to be part of the ceremony by visiting nyc.gov/covidmemorial, the mayor said.
The ceremony will begin at 7:45 p.m. and will be streamed on the city’s Web site as well as its social media channels.
New York City reports that there have been 24,794 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 5,029 probable deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.