New York City pharmacies get vaccine, mayor expanding access for seniors

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Biden administration is shipping the COIVD-19 vaccine direct to pharmacies, which began administering doses on Friday.

In New York City, that means an initial shipment of 26,000 doses, with 500 each going to 250 Duane Reades, Walgreens, Rite Aids, and Costcos.

Outside the city, CVS is also involved.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced a three-pronged plan to vaccinate homebound seniors and the essential frontline home care workers who care for them.

Beginning next week, the city will launch on-site senior vaccination clinics and, with the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March, stand up a vaccination drive for homebound seniors.

To minimize risk for homebound seniors throughout the month of February, the city will aim to vaccinate 25,000 home health aides over the next month, offering dedicated appointments in the areas where they live and work.

"We are moving heaven and earth to get our senior neighbors vaccinated," de Blasio said. "Now, we are bringing vaccines to seniors right in their communities, ensuring our vaccines go to those who need them most."

To meet seniors where they are, the city will set up vaccine clinics at DFTA retirement communities and HPD Senior Buildings. Two on-site vaccination clinics will launch the week of February 15, with additional locations to be identified and prioritized in the coming weeks:

--Warbasse Cares Program (2844 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn)
--Morningside Retirement & Health Services (100 LaSalle Street, Morningside Heights)

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The news comes as New York State is reporting the lowest positivity rate since late November and as restaurants reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity in New York City.

By all accounts, outdoor dining in the dead of a cold, snowy winter has been a dismal failure for most restaurants in the city.

"The most helpful thing to do is bring back indoor dining in a safe way," Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.

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