Mayor Bill de Blasio wants about five million New Yorkers to be fully vaccinated by June.
“We are on track – I’ve been asked this, and I want to affirm. We can reach five million vaccinations. We can reach five million New Yorkers fully vaccinated by June,” de Blasio said on Wednesday, Feb. 23. “So long as the supply is consistent and then starts to grow week by week. And that’s what the federal government is telling us will happen.”
He is optimistic that the target is achievable despite the temporary setbacks brought about by the delay in delivering the shipment of vaccines due to the winter storms around the country.
Since the beginning of the vaccination effort, 1,547,983 vaccinations have been given in New York City, according to the mayor.
“That is more than the entire population of San Antonio, Texas, which is now the seventh-largest city in the United States. So, if this effort keeps moving and moving, we’re going to keep telling you the milestones as we hit them. And I’m looking forward to the day when we tell you five million New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated,” he said.
The mayor also reiterated his call for New Yorkers to continue wearing masks, or even two as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested earlier this month.
According to research, the risk of transmitting the virus falls more than 95% if both parties wore double masks.
“June is the earliest we would even consider changing guidance around masks. It may be that we continue that guidance for quite a while depending on what is going on. We are very concerned about the variants — that’s a big X factor,” de Blasio said further.
New York City reported 3,254 new cases on Tuesday and 233 new hospitalizations. The city’s positivity rate stands on a seven-day rolling average at 7.32%.
City officials are working hard to drive down these case numbers even further, according to Commissioner Dave Chokshi of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Double masking is one of the things Chokshi mentioned, even for those who have been fully vaccinated.
“We now have this valuable new weapon in our arsenal, the vaccine, but we have to think about it as something that is an additional layer of protection to all of the things that we know have already worked, and that includes mask-wearing,” he said. “The most important thing remains that people wear them consistently and properly covering their nose and mouth, both indoors and outdoors. But we also suggested that two masks and higher-grade masks should become more common among New Yorkers as well.”