Coronavirus Update New York City: Winter nor'easter halts COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The nor'easter blanketing the New York area with a foot of snow or more is putting the brakes on efforts to administer coronavirus vaccinations.

And in this winter of COVID, the last thing anyone wanted was something else to delay what's needed the most.

But at vaccination centers run by the city and the state, the weather has frozen progress for at least two days. New Jersey has also postponed vaccinations until at least Wednesday.

In New York, state-run vaccination sites upstate will operate with a delayed opening and sites downstate -- including in NYC, Long Island and Westchester -- will be closed Tuesday.

"It's not safe out there today," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Vaccinations are canceled today. They're also going to be canceled tomorrow. Based on what we are seeing today, getting around the city will be difficult, icy, treacherous. We do not want seniors especially out in those conditions."

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That officials could reschedule appointments for later in the week speaks to a problem the mayor has been hammering home every day. The city can vaccinate half a million people per week, but there simply aren't enough doses to inject.

In all of January, workers vaccinated just over 815,000 thousand New Yorkers -- far below the mayor's goal of one million.

"We are basically exhausting our week to week allocation waiting for supply from the federal government," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "And we have much more distribution in place than we have supply."

There could be help coming in the form of a third vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, which says its new single shot inoculation is 85% effective overall in preventing severe disease and demonstrated complete protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and death as of Day 28 in its trials.

The vaccine could be available by the end of the month, with 100 million doses spread across the country by June.

"There's a lot more to protection than just preventing getting infected," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "We want to keep people out of the hospital, and we don't want people to die."

After so many months of dealing with the pandemic, hopes continue to grow for warmer -- and healthier -- days ahead.

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