NEW YORK - All homebound New Yorkers, which includes countless seniors and the disabled, will have the COVID-19 vaccine brought directly to them, city officials announced.
In an announcement on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said his goal is to have all homebound residents citywide receive a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the next seven weeks. That would mean that everyone who wants the service will be vaccinated by the end of April.
"We have more work to do, but with increased access to vaccines, things are becoming more promising by the day," said Victor Calise, the commissioner for the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities.
The move to help homebound New Yorkers comes as the city's rate of infections remains slow to fall. The seven-day rolling positive test rate is 6.16%. But new hospitalizations dropped to 154, which is below the threshold for the first time this current wave. But even with that ray of hope, New York City is averaging close to 450 COVID-19 deaths a week.
Meanwhile, to address misperceptions that one vaccine is more effective than another, Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city's health commissioner, reported taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Both de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that they, too, will opt for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"This is a personal illustration of what each of us has said publicly, all of the authorized vaccines are safe, effective, and lifesaving," Chokshi said. "All of them offer strong protection from severe illness. So, the best vaccine is the one that you can get now."
Chokshi then issued a doctor's order to all New Yorkers who choose to vaccinate.
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"Please share your story about why you got vaccinated with your family members, your neighbors, and those in your temple, church, or synagogue," Chokshi said. "I'm counting on you to create a snowball effect for vaccination, even as we head into the warmer months of spring and summer."
Residents who need at-home vaccination can sign up online at forms.cityofnewyork.us/f/homebound or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC.