Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that wealthy New Yorkers will not be allowed to “jump the line” for receiving the COVID-19 vaccination slated to arrive in New York City next week.
“We are going to make sure that the vaccine gets distributed according to priority… we will not allow people who are privileged to jump the line. We’re not allowing people to get the vaccine unless it is their time,” said de Blasio.
The state is expecting to receive 170,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the German biotechnical company Pfizer next week, once it’s approved by that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That approval could come as early as Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
New York City is expecting to receive 480,000 doses of the vaccine by January with the first batch of the Pfizer vaccine set to reach the city by next Tuesday, Dec. 15. A second batch, this time from the Massachusetts-based biotechnical company Moderna, will arrive later next week, city health officials said.
State officials decided to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and issue the first round of vaccinations to nursing home residents and “high risk” health care workers such as emergency room workers and ICU staff. Both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are two-dose regimens, meaning that in order to be vaccinated, a person must get one shot and then receive a second shot a couple of weeks later.
“We all have to respect those priorities and our healthcare system is going to be very rigorous about enforcing those priorities,” de Blasio told reporters. “It really matters that people in the greatest danger get the help first.”
Pfizer will ship doses of the vaccine mostly likely from its facility in Kalamazoo, MI, in GPS-tracked boxes filled with dry ice directly to 44 hospitals with ultra-cold freezers or other ultra-cold storage facilities in the city, according to city Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. The vaccine will be able to be accessed at 54 hospital facilities.
This story originally appeared on amny.com.