NEW YORK - New York City police officers and detectives who are also trained paramedics will begin administering vaccines at three NYCHA properties beginning on Saturday, FOX 5 NY has learned.
The NYPD was so efficient in vaccinating their own members — more than 12,000 since Monday — that City Hall asked police to help out at public housing developments, a source told FOX 5's Linda Schmidt.
The NYPD confirmed that police officers will vaccinate residents who are 65 and older and who have registered for appointments.
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said opening the NYCHA clinics is part of the plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine fairly.
"Equity is the driving force of our vaccine plan, and doses must go directly to those who need them most," de Blasio said "That's why we're meeting our most vulnerable where they are, providing vaccines to our NYCHA seniors right in their own communities."
NYCHA said that vaccination clinics will be set up at the Polo Grounds Towers in Washington Heights, the Van Dyke Houses in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, and the Cassidy-Lafayette Houses in the New Brighton section of Staten Island.
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PBA president Patrick Lynch said in a statement that once again cops are being asked to deal with health issues.
"It's no surprise that New York City police officers are coming in on their days off to vaccinate our communities," Lynch said in the statement. "Whenever new yorkers need help and city hall can't figure out another solution, the responsibility lands on us. we step up, we get the job done right and we help people — that's what cops do."
In a statement to FOX 5 NY, a spokesperson for the de Blasio administration called vaccination an "all-hands on deck effort."
"Representatives from every agency, including the NYPD, are coming to the table to help get shots in as many arms as possible," the spokesperson said.
The mayor and the governor are sounding the alarm about the state's dwindling supply of vaccine doses, though. De Blasio on Friday said the supply will run out next week at the current pace of demand. Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed problems with the federal government's rollout plan.