COVID Hospitalizations Increase, Officials Hustle for More Vaccines
By Yehudit Garmaise
Although the overall COVID positivity rates are declining, making officials hopeful the post-winter travel surge is subsiding, New York hospitals are reporting the highest numbers of COVID patients since May. In addition, the COVID virus continues to mutate, creating new strains all over the world.
Currently 9,236 patients with coronavirus are hospitalized in New York City. The city numbers mean that nearly five in every 100,000 city residents is hospitalized for COVID-19, which could potentially cause officials to enforce more restrictions, NBC 4 New York reported.
Hospitalizations are up, but New York City’s capacity to vaccinate is growing every day, Mayor Bill de Blasio said optimistically yesterday at his press briefing.
“We have four 24/7 sites open right now, 15 health department hubs, and new 24/7 sites are coming soon: including in the Empire Outlets in Staten Island, Citi Field, and Yankee Stadium.
But, the mayor said, the city’s many vaccination sites will be useless without more shipments of doses from the federal government.
“There are so many people ready to be vaccinated,” said the mayor, referring to the seven million New Yorkers who are eligible to get the shot. “We need [many more dosage] of the vaccine to reach all New Yorkers, who are right now, ready to put their arms out and get the shot.”
New York City has booked vaccination appointments are booked through April, but if the federal supply does not increase, the city may have to cancel appointments beginning this week.
Mayor de Blasio said that the state is working with the federal government and vaccine manufacturers to maximize the supply to New York City.
“We have shown a trajectory,” the mayor said yesterday. “We have shown what is going to be possible in terms of vaccinating hundreds of thousands of people. “Again: the goal this week: Vaccinate 300,000 people. We are confident we can make it, if we have the vaccine. Next week even more. Get us the vaccine.”
To make up for the missing doses, Governor Andrew Cuomo has publicly asked the CEO of Pfizer to sell vaccines directly to the state.