New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for adults in the city aged over 75 to be prioritized for vaccination against Covid-19, amid worsening trends in that age group.
Eligibility for vaccination is ultimately approved by state officials. The state currently has a five phase vaccination priority plan. The first two phases prioritize healthcare workers and long term care facility patients and other key workers. Adults over the age of 65 are under phase 3 of the plan.
The mayor has said he hopes to begin pre-registration of seniors at some of the available vaccination hubs in the city.
New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi elaborated that over the past 30 days, 6% of all cases are over 75 and up, but 30% of hospitalizations and 58% of deaths are in persons 75 and older. Percent positivity is also increasing in this category.
“I believe that New Yorkers age 75 and older should be eligible for the vaccine as soon as possible,” Chokshi said, adding that “several states have already prioritized older adults.”
Overall, New York City reported an additional 3,845 cases on a 7-day average, which de Blasio said was “way too high.” The city also recorded a “big jump” in patients admitted to hospitals with suspected Covid-19, with the mayor marking 279 in Wednesday’s report.
De Blasio said he was hopeful that the impact of the holiday break would wear off the next few weeks, leading to an improvement in Covid-19 numbers.
New York City was the US epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, with hospitals struggling to cope with the influx of patients.
After an easier summer, the city is now experiencing rising numbers of infections and new restrictions have been imposed.