Wednesday, March 22, 2023

New York To Get 1.65 Million Vaccines per Week Starting in April

Sen. Chuck Schumer announced Friday that New York will get 1.65 million coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines every week by the end of April, as part of a vaccine “supercharge” underway via new federal vaccine sites, and he now wants the CDC to commit another $1 billion to outreach.

Schumer made the announcement with President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine coordinator, Jeff Zients, to announce that the supercharge is officially underway for New York to receive new vaccines on top of the state’s current allocation.

This means New York will get 1.65 million vaccines per week by the end of April, a 33% on-average increase from current vaccine shipments. Additionally, 5,000 more public health workers for New York were funded.

“The vaccine supercharge led by President Biden and Coordinator Zients is now underway across New York with a huge influx of COVID vaccines from the federal government that has begun—and will continue—to arrive into April, along with a massive expansion of federally-funded vaccine sites that will utilize New York’s existing Community Health Centers (CHCs)…to help get them into arms,” Schumer said.

Schumer and Zients also highlighted the roughly $500 million in direct federal funds allocated to New York for new vaccine sites and community health centers to help deliver and direct the vaccine supercharge.

“I have said it before, and I will say it again: the people of New York have had a tough, tough year amid the pandemic but the light at the end of that tunnel I talked about has always been centered on access to a free vaccine for all New Yorkers, and lots of New Yorkers want a vaccine,” said Schumer. “With the supercharge underway, more vaccines and better access to vaccine sites are here and more shots into more arms are afoot.”

On Sunday, Schumer called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deploy a $1 billion dollar blitz to educate, conduct outreach, and build more confidence in the vaccines. A national blitz will speed up the larger recovery, Schumer said.

The effort is more important with the rise of COVID variants, Schumer added, including the Brazil variant documented Saturday in Brooklyn.

“With the first new case of the contagious COVID variant from Brazil, it is more urgent than ever that we launch an all-out public, vaccine education blitz and get millions of more shots in arms,” said Schumer. “We need to flood the zone with information, vaccine supply, trained personnel, and community-based organizations to get the job done. Our next big challenge here is hesitancy and a $1 billion dollar national blitz, with New York seeing a sizable share, will help us overcome it.”

Schumer explained that the vaccine supercharges he announced Friday won’t maximize public immunity if people refuse to actually get the shot. He wants federal CDC dollars to go towards boots-on-the-ground efforts in New York State, like door-to-door knocking, technology use, multilingual strategies, and town halls.

“We just announced a supercharge in vaccines for New York, but to ensure this surge does its job the CDC must now direct dollars to fund boots-on-the-ground here in New York, and the nation, really,” he explained. “We need community organizations to get the dollars to knock doors, use the latest tech to reach their neighbors, and even hold town-hall style events that educate more people about how effective these vaccines are. We must now deliver a surge in trust the same way we delivered one for vaccines, and we can do it with a billion-dollar blitz by the CDC.”