As weather-related delivery delays drained the town’s vaccine provide, the mayor and metropolis well being officers repeatedly assured the general public that the setback wouldn’t considerably impression current vaccine appointments. Therefore the shock felt by some New Yorkers when their hard-won vaccine appointments had been, actually, postponed over the previous week. Town is enjoying catch-up with appointments for each first and second doses of the vaccine, even if state and federal insurance policies require the town to maintain second doses of the vaccine on reserve.
“It was my understanding that the second-dose vials, they simply had available,” stated Martha Lineberger, an legal professional who was alleged to obtain her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at NYC Well being+Hospitals/Queens final Wednesday.
Lineberger acquired a voicemail from the hospital that morning saying that her appointment had been canceled as a result of a cargo of the vaccine had not arrived. “You’ll be able to come as a walk-in on Friday or Sunday between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” stated the voicemail, which was shared with Gothamist/WNYC.
Lineberger was skeptical that she would get a second dose just by exhibiting up and as an alternative spent the day making telephone calls to e book one other appointment, which she finally scheduled for Monday, February twenty second.
“I am a public defender, so calling folks on the telephone 500 occasions to get one thing is my precise day job,” Lineberger stated. “I’m simply anxious about different folks.”
It’s factor that Lineberger didn’t present up over the weekend. Delayed shipments of first and second vaccine doses from Pfizer didn’t arrive till Monday morning, in line with a recording from Queens Hospital Heart at a telephone quantity some sufferers got to get updates on the state of affairs.
Maria Haig and her mom had been amongst those that confirmed up Monday with out an appointment. Haig’s mom had acquired an electronic mail canceling her appointment for her second vaccine shot final Thursday, and he or she hadn’t had any success attempting to reschedule over the telephone. Fortunately, Haig stated the method was clean as soon as they arrived.
Queens Hospital Heart wasn’t the one website within the public hospital system the place second-dose appointments had been delayed.
An hour earlier than she was alleged to obtain her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Lincoln hospital within the Bronx on February seventeenth, this reporter’s mom acquired the same name a few postponement. When she checked her on-line affected person account, often known as MyChart, she discovered there was no alternative reserving. By calling the town’s vaccine hotline, she was capable of schedule a brand new appointment at Bellevue on February twenty eighth.
In response to questions from Gothamist/WNYC in regards to the cancellations, a spokesperson for NYC Well being + Hospitals stated, “Final week the COVID-19 vaccine provide chain was utterly disrupted by the storms within the Mid- and Southwest. NYC might be resupplied this week, and we’re working with any affected person who was affected to reschedule their appointment. Anybody who had a primary or second dose appointment will obtain a brand new one.”
The spokesperson didn’t reply questions on what number of appointments have been postponed, however stated that a number of NYC Well being + Hospitals websites have been affected.
But, requested Monday whether or not the provision scarcity had altered current vaccine appointments, Mayor Invoice de Blasio reiterated that this has not been a serious subject and didn’t point out any delays of second doses.
“We don’t schedule appointments if we don’t have vaccine to again them up,” de Blasio stated. “Usually, it has been simply not making [new] appointments accessible or some rescheduling.”
Dr. David Chokshi, the town well being commissioner, additionally stated it was not a problem.
“With respect to Well being Division websites, we had second dose appointments that had been already scheduled during the last week and all of these had been honored,” Chokshi stated. “All of these New Yorkers had been capable of get their second dose of vaccine. We didn’t should reschedule any first-dose appointments as a result of, simply because the mayor stated, we wait till we even have the vaccine in hand to schedule these first dose appointments.”
Vaccine recipients are alleged to get their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine inside 21 days of the primary shot; for the Moderna vaccine, it’s 28 days. But when there’s an extenuating circumstance, doses might be administered as much as 42 days later, in line with steerage from the state and Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
Mayor de Blasio advocated final week for the town to have the flexibleness to dip into second-dose reserves and use them for first photographs, however state and federal insurance policies prohibit the town from doing so.
First-dose appointments have been impacted by delivery delays as effectively—a state of affairs that metropolis well being officers have stated was doable however implied was not widespread.
At NYC Well being + Hospitals/Cumberland in Brooklyn on Friday, a employees member stated all first-dose appointments for the day had been canceled and added that about 100 folks obtain vaccines there every day. Some sufferers arrived unaware of the change. Their appointments had been rescheduled on MyChart, however they hadn’t acquired some other notification, they stated.
Throughout his common press convention, Mayor de Blasio stated final week’s provide started to reach on Monday. By the afternoon, first doses available had risen from the weekend’s low level of fewer than 1,000 to about 23,000. Second doses are hovering round 101,000.