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NEW YORK, NY- Mayor Bill de Blasio gave New Yorkers good news and bad news on the coronavirus vaccine’s rollout.
The good news: New York City will surpass 500,000 shots going into arms sometime Wednesday.
The bad news: health officials had to cancel 23,000 appointments for coronavirus vaccinations as supplies dry up, exacerbated by an unanticipated shipment delay from vaccine producer Moderna.
“It’s a tough situation for everyone and I really do appreciate how hard everyone at the federal government, the state government’s working to try and resolve these very, very tough situations,” he said Wednesday. “But let’s just acknowledge the shortage we’re dealing with and let’s be creative and let’s do something to reach the most people as quickly as possible.”
“Creative,” de Blasio said, means giving the city permission to use coronavirus vaccine doses currently in held in reserve for the second of two doses. The city has 65,000 such doses currently in reserve, he said.
Those shots could cover the 23,000 New Yorkers who had their first shot appointments canceled without impacting the still-small numbers of second dose recipients, he said.
Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said second dose appointments will not be impacted.
De Blasio has repeatedly pressed for “freedom” for the city to vaccinate outside of strict state and federal guidelines.
Chokshi said the city expected 103,400 doses on Tuesday but a distributor issue caused the delay. He said the doses will arrive Wednesday and Thursday.
The city has roughly 130,000 first doses left in the meantime, he said.
“We don’t have enough for the pace that we able to maintain and hope to maintain,” he said.