He said the city had about 116,000 doses on hand, but without more supplies, it could have to cancel vaccine appointments on Friday.
“At the rate we are going, we will begin to run out this Thursday and we will have nothing left to give as of Friday,” he said.
The mayor added that the city’s supplies would not be restocked until next Tuesday, and new vaccinations wouldn’t begin until next Wednesday.
“This is crazy,” the mayor declared. “This is not the way it should be.”
As of Tuesday, the city has doled out 455,737 jabs since mid-December, according to Hizzoner, but was only offered 53,000 doses this week.
“If we have the vaccine we needed, we could vaccinate 300,000 people [this week] … the problem is we don’t,” he said.
De Blasio insisted capacity to vaccinate was “growing every day,” despite talk of a slow rollout, and as of right now had four 24/7 vaccination sites set up, with more to come.
De Blasio also said the vaccine should be offered to sanitation workers and those working in the court system, as well as potential jurors.
The Democrat mayor pointed to President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office.
“That’s the kind of commitment we need, to vaccinate people faster and faster. We are running out of vaccine,” de Blasio said.
In a coronavirus briefing last Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a letter to Pfizer asking if the state could buy more vaccinations directly from the pharmaceutical giant. He said the federal government was sending 50,000 fewer doses of the vaccine than the week before.
Pfizer is selling the federal government 200 million doses of its vaccine. The company has said it has not considered selling directly to states and would need federal approval to do so.
Biden coronavirus adviser Dr. Celine Gounder pushed back on Cuomo’s letter, saying that allowing states to buy vaccines themselves would worsen the U.S.’ piecemeal response to the virus.
“I think we’ve already had too much of a patchwork response across the states,” Gounder told CNBC’s Shepard Smith on “The News.”
“I think Gov. Cuomo, himself, had said back in the spring that the situation around ventilators was essentially ‘one big Ebay’ with all of the states bidding against one another for ventilators, and I think this kind of an approach to vaccine allocation is going to result, frankly, in the same kind of situation that he, himself, was criticizing last spring,” Gounder said.
The governor, furthering his long-standing tiff with De Blasio, has for weeks criticized New York City’s lagging vaccine distribution. He threatened to take away supplies from “lower-performing” facilities.
“For the lower-performing facilities, we are going to give them less, if any, of the new allocation,” Cuomo said in a press conference Moday. They’ll all have enough to do their staff, but we want to make sure that the faster facilities, the higher-performing facilities, get more of the new allocation because we want it out the door. We don’t want it sitting on the shelf. So those that can vaccinate faster will get more of the new allocation.”
He shared a graphic showing that 10 NYC Health and Hospitals vaccination sites had distributed less than 80% of their vaccine allocation, and four had doled out more.
“We are moving so quickly now, we have built up such a head of steam, that we’re going to use up our supply. So by definition, if he’s taking supply away from New York City, that makes no sense,” de Blasio said on NY1 in response to Cuomo’s threat.
Cuomo in late December had vowed to crack down on coronavirus vaccine “fraud,” threatening New York health providers that if they distributed the vaccine to anyone not qualified under his stringent plan, they could face a $1 million fine and lose their license to practice.
Local officials implored the governor to relax the rules to speed up the vaccination process. “We need the freedom to vaccinate,” de Blasio said in early January. “This city needs the freedom to vaccinate the highest number of people possible. We need the freedom to vaccinate because with that freedom and flexibility, we can reach so many people.”
Cuomo gave in — adding seniors over 75, transit workers, teachers and police to the list of those who qualified for a shot, joining health care workers and long-term care residents.