NYC has vaccinated more people than entire population of Portland – Mayor de Blasio

NYC has vaccinated more people than entire population of Portland – Mayor de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced that New York City has so far done 650,000 vaccinations, the equivalent of the entire population of Portland, Oregon.

Speaking when he appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mayor de Blasio said the city could be doing a half-million vaccinations a week but there was no real supply coming to the city.

"The bad news is we could be doing so much more. I want to open up Yankee Stadium and Citi Field and do 24-hour sites all over the city, but we're not getting a clear message from the manufacturers," Mayor de Blaio said. "And I'm just hoping, and I believe in President Biden, I believe he wants to move this process. But I'll tell you it's going to take him using the Defense Production Act, demanding that a lot of pharmaceutical companies get into this together, breaking down those silos, and doing something very different if we're going to be able to do this."

Mayor de Blasio said the city currently has 100,000 second doses that were sitting on the shelf. 

"They can't be used for weeks. And what I would ask of the president is order governments all over the country, just take those second doses and start using them right now because even a first dose gives folks about 50 percent protection. Think about senior citizens. I was with a 97-year-old woman in Queens last week. And for her, she was scared to death of the coronavirus. And that first shot to her literally meant she was going to live. She was going to get to be with her family. Emotionally and medically, we got to get people that first shot, no matter what," he said.

Mayor de Blasio said the Pharmaceutical companies were not making enough vaccines, something he said had been attributed to the current shortage of the vaccine.

"They're not making enough. And again, I think it means bringing other pharmaceutical companies into this. Even if it isn't their own brand or patent, we got to break down those silos. This is war. Every company that could be helping to produce vaccines should under federal orders," he said.

And Governor Andrew Cuomo said as at 11:00 am Tuesday, New York's health care distribution sites have received 1,304,050 first doses and already administered 93 percent or 1,210,339 first dose vaccinations and 74 percent of first and second doses. 

Delivery of the week 7 allocation from the federal government will not begin arriving until the middle of this week.

"We know the vaccine is the weapon that ends the war. That's why New York has built a vast infrastructure of providers and pop-up sites to get shots in arms quickly and fairly on a massive scale. The only problem - we don't have nearly enough supply," Governor Cuomo said. "This isn't just a New York problem, it's happening across the country. The previous administration opened up the floodgates of eligibility and instead of increasing supply, they actually decreased it. We have the demand and the infrastructure in place to easily administer over 100,000 vaccinations per day, but our hands are tied - we need more supply!"

New York's vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals far exceed the vaccine supply coming from the federal government. While the federal government has increased eligibility for the vaccine to include 7 million New Yorkers, the federal supply of vaccines has actually decreased. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

Vaccination program numbers are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state's vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government's Long Term Care Facility program.

Meanwhile, New York City on Monday recorded 230 new hospitalizations, 4,844 new cases which represented an 8.40 percent positivity rate during the seven day average.