By Barrett Seaman—
As of 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 23, New Yorkers 50 and older are eligible to make appointments for a COVID vaccine, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. That comes on the heels of Sunday’s announcement that residents with comorbidities can get vaccinated through their local pharmacy, provided they have proof of one of the accepted medical conditions.
While the new cohort of residents in their fifties is large and will add to the demand for vaccines, Cuomo reassured residents that supplies are either here or on their way and that the state’s various venues for delivering shots is up to the task. The rate of vaccination statewide is now more than 100,000-a-day. In Westchester, County Executive George Latimer on Monday reported that its four vaccine sites, including the County Center and Yonkers Armory, have provided 176,000 doses to date and that 15% of Westchester residents are now fully vaccinated.
Asked whether he was concerned that the newly eligible 50+ cohort would renew the delays that characterized the initial vaccine rollout, Latimer acknowledged that “we still have more demand than supply,” but remained confident that the county was on track towards the ultimate goal of reaching herd immunity. “I think we’ll do fine at this level,” he said Monday.
The seven-week decline in the infection rate in Westchester has flattened of late but the current number of active cases, 5,233, remains well below the 11,000-plus cases in mid-January. So far, only one case of the U.K. variant has been identified in the county and none of either the South African or Brazilian variants.