The Brooklyn Army Terminal will become one of the first 24-hour, seven-day-a week sites for mass vaccination for COVID-19 starting Sunday, Jan. 10, said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio also announced that Bathgate Industrial Park in the Bronx will be another “mega site” for vaccine distribution.
“Those two sites will continue to be open 24/7 from that point on, by reservation,” de Blasio said Jan. 6. “We need people to make appointments. We do not want long lines. We do want people pre-certified.”
The mayor said that a big category of high-priority people to receive the vaccine was fully approved by the state, allowing the flexibility to distribute it.
The city also received approval to vaccinate home health care workers, home health care aides and some members of the NYPD and Dept. of Corrections.
“To all of the families who benefit from the love and support of these home health care workers, please let them know vaccinations are available through Health + Hospitals right now for free, fast, easy, safe, effective,” the mayor said.
Although other mega sites will be opening around the five boroughs, regulation of vaccination distributions has posed an issue, de Blasio said.
“Folks over 75 are the most vulnerable in this crisis, but right now we are not allowed to vaccinate them according to state rules,” he said. “We need the freedom and flexibility so that we can start vaccinating folks over 75 right away. That freedom to vaccinate means reaching our seniors in need.”
According to Commissioner Dave Chokshi of the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, over the past 30 days, six percent of all COVID cases have been among people 75 and older, but 30 percent of hospitalizations and 58 percent of deaths are of people 75 and older.
“Give us the freedom to go where the interest and the desire is over 75, let’s get to them, let’s get to all essential workers,” de Blasio said. “All essential workers, whether you work in a grocery store, or whether you work in food service, or you’re a police officer, or a firefighter, or an educator, we need to reach all those essential workers as quickly as possible. So we are looking for that freedom. “