Coronavirus vaccine update
NEW YORK (WABC) -- It appears New Yorkers still waiting for their first shot of protection against the coronavirus shouldn't have to wait much longer.
For the first time, supply appears to be outpacing demand in the city.
And that's despite the temporary loss of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which remains shelved across the nation as experts investigate reports of blood clotting that has occurred in a fraction of those received the shot.
The CDC has announced it will meet again a week from Friday to consider the findings.
New York City's Javits Center has an abundance of COVID vaccination appointments available, and that's concerning some officials.
City Councilman Mark Levine said Thursday that the Javits Center, which is run by the state, had been the most popular vaccination center in the city.
The councilmember announced on his Twitter account that some 6,000 appointments for the Pfizer vaccine had opened at midnight for those ages 16 and up.
However, as of Thursday morning, Levine said that almost all of the appointments remained, including 1,000 for Friday.
"This is a deeply worrying development," he said.
Levine called it a "tipping point" in the effort to vaccinate New York City's residents.
"After months of intense competition for appts, slots are now filling much more slowly. Our challenge is no longer managing the crush of demand. It's bringing vax to people who need it, and building trust in this life-saving solution," Levine tweeted.
He urged people to help get the word out and offer to help others make appointments.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the available appointments did not signal a decrease in demand or a problem in encouraging people to book vaccinations.
"I feel great about the fact that there are lots of appointments for people and they are easier to get," he said. "I am so much happier with the situation where people can get an appointment quickly."
He added that the more you can make it easy, simple, and close for people, the more they will engage in the process.
So far, nearly half of eligible people in New York State have received at least their first shot. That number is about 44% percent in New York City.
Meanwhile on Friday, the mayor announced that the city is expanding walk-up appointments to New Yorkers 50 and older at certain city-run vaccine sites beginning on Saturday.
Those eligible residents will be able to get vaccinated without an appointment.
Previously, walk-in appointments were exclusively for New Yorkers 75 and older.
"Our priority for the next few months is clear: we need to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible," de Blasio said. "By making it easier for New Yorkers 50 and older to get vaccinated, we are on our way to fully vaccinating five million New Yorkers by June."
Residents can find eligible city-run vaccine sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
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