In New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been making the rounds this week, stopping by at “pop-up vaccination sites” to plead with the state’s residents to go ahead and get the vaccine. This weekend he was at a senior apartment complex in Brooklyn making the same pitch as usual. Cuomo has been showing up on every news station in the state lately, pleading with people to go and get vaccinated. He talks about how his own dear mother, who is advancing in age, is getting it. His daughter, who is “the love of his life” will be getting it as soon as she’s eligible. And so will the governor himself. I’ve watched this routine myself any number of times and even I’ll admit that he sounds quite sincere. (CBS New York)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent Saturday morning in Brooklyn, urging New York residents to trust vaccine science and get the shots as soon as they become available to them.
Traveling into Manhattan from Great Neck for the first time since March was Carolyn Jacobson.
A last-minute cancelation allowed her to get a COVID vaccination at Javits Center, jumping ahead of schedule for what she calls an early birthday present.
A “senior apartment complex” sounds awfully close to the description of a retirement facility or nursing home, so I’m a little surprised that “Andy the Ripper” would show up, but it all apparently worked out in the end. Cuomo told the seniors, “Please, take the vaccine. We’ll make it accessible, but we need you to accept it,” He went on from there to urge Black New Yorkers to sign up for vaccinations in larger numbers because the level of “vaccine hesitancy” among African-Americans in the Big Apple far outpaces other demographic groups.
Meanwhile, there are two problems that Cuomo is facing as he makes this pitch to the public. The first is that New York simply doesn’t have enough vaccines to meet even a portion of the demand. The Governor himself said that New York was scheduled to get 240,000 doses this week. That may sound like a lot, but every one of them is already spoken for. The state has been making appointments for people signing up on the state website to request a vaccination, and most of those appointments are now many months in the future. Every time a batch of vaccines is somehow spoiled, appointments are canceled or pushed back even further.
Then there’s the other major problem. Despite all the stories of people wanting the vaccine and not being able to get one, nearly half of New Yorkers are still saying they don’t plan to get it.
A new poll by the Association for a Better New York found there is still hesitancy among some residents to get the shot. In all, 57% of New Yorkers say they will take the vaccine as soon as it is available to them, while 42% are hesitant.
But among minority communities, there’s more concern. The survey found that 20% of African-Americans and 19% of Asian and Pacific Islanders say they’re unsure if they will get a shot. That’s compared to 10% of white New Yorkers.
Another 81% say they could be persuaded if it’s required for work, travel or school.
I suspect that those numbers will continue to decline in the future. The longer we go without any massive incidents of people dropping dead or otherwise suffering harm after being vaccinated, the more people will likely realize that the vaccine isn’t going to do them in. But that doesn’t do anything about the supply and demand problem. Last week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters that the city was set up to vaccinate 500,000 people a week. But when a reporter asked him to clarify, he admitted that the system could handle that many people, but he had no chance of actually getting that many doses.
So we have both the Mayor and the Governor begging us all to trust and accept the vaccine. In response, we should all be asking them to tell us where they plan to find a dose for us. Or two doses, actually.