Cuomo says he’ll investigate NY hospitals that are ‘slow’ at vaccine roll-out after pitiful weekend where people failed to turn up to their appointments – as Citifield is announced as latest mass vaccine site
- Some hospitals in New York City have only vaccinated 40.1% of their staff
- Others have vaccinated 100% of their staff – Cuomo now wants to know why
- On Monday, he said he was going to investigate why
- Any hospitals that haven’t vaccinated all their staff by February 15 have to redistribute their allotment, he said
- Citifield will serve as a mass vaccination site for Queens starting Wednesday
- Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is serving as the mass vaccine site there
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday he is going to investigate hospitals that aren’t working their way through their vaccine allotment after a pitiful weekend at the end of January where healthcare workers failed to show up for their appointments.
The state has so far only been offering the vaccines to people aged over 65 and healthcare workers.
But thousands of appointments that are reserved for them have gone unclaimed. In some instances, people have reserved their appointment then not shown up for it.
Over the last weekend in January, vaccine sites should have been swarmed with eligible people. Instead, many were empty. Doctors said of the weekend: ‘We blew our chance to vaccinate thousands.’
On Monday, Cuomo said that any vaccines in hospitals that are not used on healthcare workers by February 15 will be redirected to go to the next eligible group – people with comorbidities.
Over the weekend of January 30, vaccine sites across the city were completely empty. Doctors said they had a chance to vaccinate thousands but ‘blew it’
Some hospitals across New York City have only vaccinated 40 percent of their staff, whereas others have vaccinated all of their staff.
‘Something is just not right somewhere. I understand there there are racial differences in declination rates – I get that.
‘It still doesn’t add up in my book because you still have some hospitals in the same region with the same demographics of the same work force and you have a gross disparity.
‘The New York State Department of Health is going to review those slow vaccinating hospitals. We want to understand why and how.
‘But we’re also going to use the excess supply for those with pre-existing conditions on February 15,’ he said.
The hospitals with the lowest vaccination rate in staff are in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
The lowest is the NYC Health and Hospital North Central Bronx Hospital where only 41.2 percent of the staff have been vaccinated.
Mount Sinai Beth Israel in downtown Manhattan, by contrast, has vaccinated 95 percent of its staff.
People line up in the rain outside the Yankee Stadium on February 5, 2021 in New York as the Stadium is ready for its turn as a mass Covid-19 vaccination site, which is strictly reserved for residents of The Bronx
A healthcare worker administers the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site inside a church in the Bronx on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021
Cuomo also said he would investigate cases of ‘fraud’ – where people are claiming to be eligible when they aren’t. He didn’t indicate what kind of punishment they would face. Citifield, the home of the New York Mets, will open on Wednesday.
Residents of Queens who are eligible will be able to get their vaccines there, as will food workers and taxi drivers.
Yankee Stadium is being used as a vaccination site for residents of the Bronx currently.
Cuomo also admitted that there were problems in the rollout and said: ‘Everybody wants this vaccine. There was skepticism when this started.
‘By the way, the skepticism is still high and is a higher in black and Hispanic communities. It’s a problem
‘But when it became so rare and hard to get, it was like a shift where the demand went way up.
‘You now have 10million people every week chasing 300,000 vaccines.
‘You have people sitting at the computer all day – people who are desperate because they’ve been at home, locked up, afraid.
‘It is a precious resource. It is so precious that I believe some people will commit fraud to get it,’ he said.
Citifield in the Queens will become a mass vaccination site for the borough on Wednesday