By Mihir Zaveri and Michael Gold
Three mass vaccination sites across New York State will begin administering doses overnight, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said this week, as officials seek to use an influx of new vaccines manufactured by Johnson & Johnson to significantly expand the vaccination effort.
The state said Tuesday it expected to receive about 164,800 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week. By running the three mass vaccination sites around the clock, the state said it will distribute those doses “as quickly as possible.”
Mr. Cuomo said there would then be a lag before the state receives its next allocation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“This pilot plan will maximize the initial doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and get as many shots in arms as possible,” Mr. Cuomo said.
Two of the sites will be in New York City: Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Javits Center in Manhattan.
Vaccinations at Yankee Stadium will begin on Thursday, and doses there are reserved for Bronx residents who meet the current eligibility requirements. The site, which had been open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., will now also schedule vaccine appointments from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. People can schedule their appointments starting today at somosvaccinations.com or by calling 1-833-SomosNY.
Starting on Friday, Javits Center in Manhattan will be open for overnight vaccinations from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and the New York State Fair site in Syracuse, N.Y., will be open from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
New York residents can start making appointments for overnight vaccinations at both sites starting on Thursday at 8 a.m. by visiting this state website or by calling the state hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX.
The overnight vaccinations reflect how the addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not only expanding the overall supply of doses, but giving rise to novel ways of reaching people.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would primarily use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to start a new program for in-home vaccinations for homebound older people who might otherwise not be able to make appointments. The vaccine is a single shot, which makes it easier to administer, and it is also easier to transport, he said.
“We’ll reserve as much as we can for that," Mr. de Blasio said of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. “The rest of it we’ll be using as part of our general effort.”
Dr. Mitchell Katz, the city’s public hospitals chief, said that the city’s public health system expected to receive its first doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Thursday.
Mr. de Blasio, who has not yet been inoculated, said that he planned to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “in a very public way” to boost confidence in it. Though the vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech showed a somewhat higher efficacy rate in clinical trials, studies show that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides strong protection against severe disease and death from Covid-19, and may reduce the spread of the virus by vaccinated people.
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