Mayor Bill de Blasio beseeched President Biden in a letter Friday to quickly address the national coronavirus vaccine shortage that is crippling the Big Apple’s inoculation efforts, telling the newly-minted chief executive that “swift action” from his administration would be critical to fixing the crisis.
“Through this effort, over 500,000 doses have been administered here,” de Blasio wrote in the letter sent to the White House. “We are ready to do more, and faster, but we can’t do it alone: swift action from your administration on the key strategies you laid out will make a real difference for New Yorkers, helping us speed up this process and get the vaccine to more people.”
Hizzoner reiterated the looming shot shortfall in New York City, telling Biden in the memo that Gotham will run out of vaccine before the week is done.
“[A]s supply dwindles, we are actively canceling appointments—starting with this weekend, and now going into next week, as we await re-supply. New York City has come too far and New Yorkers have fought too hard to allow that to go on.”
As a stopgap, de Blasio reiterated his request for federal approval to convert roughly 65,000 shots reserved the second of the two-shot coronavirus vaccinations into first doses.
Officials said those shots have not yet been assigned to New Yorkers and reclassifying them as first jabs would not take away from those already qualified for a second dose.
“[T]he City is seeking the flexibility during this time to temporarily use the remaining supply of second doses to bridge the gap to a time of increased production, replenishing the second dose supply as production ramps,” de Blasio wrote. “This would allow the City to maximize first dose vaccinations, while continuing to stay on target for the FDA-recommended second dose regimen.”
The letter comes as the city’s supply of doses for the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine continued to dwindle — with just 62,938 jabs left across New York’s network of public and private hospital facilities as of Friday morning, according to internal city tallies provided by The Post.
Doctors and nurses are dispensing roughly 30,000 first doses of the vaccine every weekday, Health Department statistics show.
City health officials confirmed Friday that all first doses in New York City have been allocated to hospitals, pharmacies and other vaccination sites, meaning there will be no resupply until the federal government delivers the next batch inoculation next week.
The growing shortages have forced many public and private hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the city to reschedule or stop taking appointments for initial vaccination shots.
The city Health Department was forced to reschedule roughly 23,000 appointments for first doses of the coronavirus inoculation because of delayed shipments of the Moderna vaccine.
All 15 of DOH’s vaccine hubs — typically located at middle or high school campuses — are closed through Sunday.
The Big Apple’s public hospital system — the Health and Hospitals Corporation — said Thursday it has also had to reschedule at least 1,900 appointments for first shots due to growing vaccine shortages. Officials there had not provided an updated tally in response to repeated questions from The Post on Friday.