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New York gives more groups eligibility to COVID-19 vaccine

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Tuesday announced that the city government would be expanding the groups of people who are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, effective immediately.

During a press conference, de Blasio made the announcement with NYC Health Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi. Unaffiliated or independent health care providers, dentists, physical therapists, coroners, funeral workers and staff members at specialty clinics will now be eligible for the vaccine, Chokshi said.

In a tweet, the NYC Twitter account specified that the list would also include testing site workers, contact tracers and NYPD medical staff. Beginning on Jan. 11, home care workers, hospice workers and more nursing home staff members will also be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Chokshi also announced that New York’s vaccination schedule would be moved up with the opening of three new vaccine hubs in the city’s boroughs that will have the capacity for “thousands of vaccinations.”

“As we continue to vaccinate healthcare workers and nursing home residents, New York City would also like to begin vaccinating our seniors, namely those over 75,” added Chokshi. “The sooner we can get them protected the sooner we will save lives.”

The health commissioner added that the city needed the federal government to “pick up the pace” through its vaccination programs, noting they did not operate during the past holidays.

“To everyone, to all our partners, this has got to be a seven day a week, 24/7 reality going forward,” said de Blasio.

Most governments around the world have prioritized the coronavirus vaccines for front-line health care workers and nursing home residents. The order in which the vaccine is distributed has largely been left up to state and local governments to decide. Many governments have yet to decide how this order will be made.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that other essential workers receive the vaccine after health care workers, such as agricultural workers, Postal Service workers and those who work in education. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced in December that school staff members would be next to receive the vaccines after health care workers have been immunized.

Tags Bill de Blasio Coronavirus COVID-19 frontline workers Health care Mike DeWine New York New York City Vaccination Vaccine

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