The state is opening two more COVID vaccination sites in New York City, and beginning Wednesday, the sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens will be able to vaccinate up to 3,000 people a day.
- Speaking of the vaccine, now to the latest on the race to vaccinate here in New York. Mayor de Blasio just announced a new COVID recovery czar to help lead the city back from the pandemic. This as New York City surpasses 1 and 1/2 million vaccinations. Eyewitness News reporter NJ Burkett live in Crown Heights with the very latest. NJ?
NJ BURKETT: That's right, Dave. We're live outside Medgar Evers College here in Crown Heights, where the governor is presently touring what will be the state's newest mass vaccination center here. That center is expected to open on Wednesday. And when it does, they say they will be able to vaccinate as many as 3,000 people every day, Dave. That's more than they're vaccinating at the Javits Center or Yankee Stadium.
So yes, the governor says this will be the largest mass vaccination center in the state of New York. All of this, Dave, in a community that has yet to benefit truly from the COVID-19 vaccine. By the city's own numbers, four times as many whites have been vaccinated as Blacks in New York.
As you know, the problem is part skepticism and distrust among the minority community. But it is also a problem of geography. The vaccination center here is intended to address that part of it. And then the hope is that the people vaccinated here will spread the word to their families, neighbors, and friends.
The vaccine shortage has been a problem, as we all know. But the shortage will be made up this week, according to Mayor de Blasio. Both the mayor and the governor spoke on COVID-19 and vaccinations this morning. And here's what they said.
ANDREW CUOMO: This is an exciting day. This is the largest vaccination site in the state of New York. This vaccination site can do 3,000 vaccines per day, 21,000 vaccines per week. So it really is extraordinary. It's a joint effort between the state and the federal government.
BILL DE BLASIO: We literally got down to the point we had fewer than a thousand first doses available. We're getting now-- finally, the supply that we expected last week is arriving today. That means we've basically lost a full week in our vaccination efforts.
NJ BURKETT: Now, to be clear, appointments here at Medgar Evers College will prioritize people who live in Crown Heights and the whole surrounding area. And then a week after it opens, people from the entire borough of Brooklyn will be able to come here to be vaccinated.
It is by appointment only. But the governor said a moment ago that if you don't go online and if you don't use your phone to make an appointment, you can actually come here and make an appointment for a later date. That's the first situation of its kind that we have heard at any of the vaccination centers. So that will be good news for people who've been struggling to get online appointments.