New York is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all those 30 years and older beginning Tuesday, and all those 16 and up can begin to schedule appointments on April 6, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
- And the big announcement from the governor-- all New Yorkers ages 30 and up can sign up and get vaccinated as early as tomorrow morning. Then, on April 6, a week from tomorrow, anyone 16 and older will be eligible to get vaccinated.
- On top of that news, Governor Cuomo says the megasites at Citi Field, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and in Bathgate in the Bronx will vaccinate any walk-in who is 75 or older and one eligible escort.
- All of this comes shortly after the director of the CDC warned of a, quote, "impending doom" amid a spike in new cases. Eyewitness News reporter NJ Burkett begins our coverage, and he's live on the East Side. NJ?
NJ BURKETT: That's right, David. It's the worst fear of a public health official-- preventable deaths, people dying needlessly. Yeah, there's no question that the vaccines will bring an end to the pandemic, but how many will die before that happens? It's why the entire adult population of the state of New York will be eligible in just eight days.
New York's youngest adults will be the next and the last to be eligible for the vaccine, and it will happen one month before the federal deadline. President Biden says increasing supplies are making it possible across the nation.
JOE BIDEN: The vast majority of governors have set open access dates even earlier than the deadline of May 1. But in this race against the rapidly-spreading virus, as fast as we are going, we need to go faster.
NJ BURKETT: The president says he shares the concern of public health authorities over reckless mass gatherings in places like Miami Beach. Infection rates are rising again, and more Americans are being hospitalized, prompting an emotional appeal from CDC director Rochelle Walensky.
ROCHELLE WALENSKY: We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope. But right now, I'm scared. I'm asking you to just hold on a little longer to get vaccinated when you can, so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends.
NJ BURKETT: In the Bronx, public advocate Jumaani Williams handed out masks at a public housing complex.
JUMAANI WILLIAMS: New York City and New Jersey, unfortunately, are starting to lead the way in terms of new COVID cases. But we can change that.
NJ BURKETT: Yet, New York City is setting new records for vaccinations, with nearly 1/2 a million in the past week alone. But Mayor de Blasio says there's reason to be concerned.
BILL DE BLASIO: We know it's Holy Week. It's a very powerful, special time. Families gather. Folks are looking forward to Easter. It's still gonna take some months to get as many people vaccinated as we need to and really turn things around. So during this holiday time, everyone should focus on safety. Still keep the gatherings small. Observe social distancing. Wear a mask.
NJ BURKETT: And New York City is now closing in on 4 million vaccinations. Again, to recap, New Yorkers in their 30s and 40s can book their appointments tomorrow. Those adults under age 30 can book their appointments next Tuesday.