Cuomo Widens Eligibility After Vaccine Goes Unused or Is Even Thrown Out


This week, the mayor pleaded for Mr. Cuomo to expand the eligibility groups, saying that the narrow eligibility requirements were making it difficult to administer doses on the scale that was needed. As of early Friday, only 167,949 of 489,325 doses had been administered in New York City — about 34 percent, which was lower than the rate across New York State, which was about 50 percent.

“New York City has heard enough,” the mayor said on Twitter after Mr. Cuomo announced the expansion. “We will begin administering shots to City Workers and the elderly in 1B starting on Monday,” he added, referring to Phase 1b, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s second round of vaccinations.

Mr. de Blasio’s press secretary, Bill Neidhardt, then highlighted reporting in The New York Times on Friday morning that detailed the challenges facing clinics that had been unable to give out doses because of the strict rules — or even had to throw some out.

“This is so enraging,” he wrote. “Utterly speechless.”

Among the clinics were the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan, where the chief medical officer, Dr. Peter Meacher, had expected to receive just a small supply of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine to inoculate employees at the network of clinics he oversees.

Instead, 600 doses arrived late last month, far more than he needed to administer a first dose to his staff.

For two weeks, more than half of the supply sat in freezers. At another clinic in the city, small numbers of unused doses were even thrown out.

Dr. Meacher said that he would like to give the extra vaccine to high-risk patients, but that he had not for fear of violating the state rules about who could receive it. Callen-Lorde Community Health Center’s handful of clinics serve some 18,000 L.G.B.T.Q. New Yorkers.





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