Soon, a Vaccine Shot for Every Adult in N.Y. Who Wants One

The expansion to everyone 16 and above by next week comes at a time when the supply of doses is barely keeping up with demand.,


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It’s Tuesday.

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Weather: Sunny, with a high in the low 60s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect today and tomorrow. Then suspended for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and over the weekend for Passover.

Credit…Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

If you are 30 or older, you are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in New York State. If you are 16 or older, you just have to wait until next Tuesday.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the eligibility expansion on Monday, a relief in a state where the virus has killed tens of thousands of people.

But a new pool of eligible people could also flood the state’s health apparatus at a time when supply barely meets demand.

[The expansion comes a year after the worst of the initial outbreak.]

Here’s what you need to know:

The governor said just last week that he was reluctant to set an eligibility timeline until he was more confident that there would be a sufficient supply of Covid-19 vaccine.

But his decision to do so is hardly unexpected, since Mr. Cuomo has spent the past weeks gradually expanding eligibility. And President Biden has set a goal of making every adult in the country eligible for a vaccination by May 1.

Getting a vaccine shot in New York has not always been easy. The state and New York City have completely different scheduling websites, and they can be confusing and time-consuming to navigate.

A judge ruled on Monday that the roughly 50,000 people incarcerated in New York’s prisons and jails must be offered inoculations against the virus, which would make the new pool even larger.

The expansion comes at a critical moment in New York’s battle against the virus. The state has the second-highest seven-day average of new virus cases in the country, at 49 new cases for every 100,000 residents, compared with a United States average of less than half that; and new variants, which could be more contagious or resistant to the vaccine, appear to be on the rise.

As of Monday, nearly 30 percent of people in New York State had received at least one shot of vaccine. About 32 percent of adults in New York City have received at least one dose, but equitable distribution is still a problem.

The governor said in a statement that it is too soon to let our guard down.

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, “but until we get there it is more important than ever for each and every New Yorker to wear a mask, socially distance and follow all safety guidelines.”

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Want more news? Check out our full coverage.

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

An East Village man who spent weeks in the hospital fighting Covid-19 found his apartment empty when he returned home. [NBC New York]

City data shows that the New York Police Department returned only 60 percent of the more than 55,000 phones it seized in 2020, some of them from juveniles who needed them for school. [The City]

The Tribeca Film Festival is returning to in-person screenings at a series of outdoor locations around the five boroughs. [Daily News]

New York City had only three wheelchair-accessible taxis in 2004 — passengers had a less than one in 4,000 chance of hailing one.

“They were like unicorns,” Edith Prentiss told The New York Times that year.

So Ms. Prentiss took up the cause, as she did with many other challenges facing people with disabilities in the city. There are now 231 accessible vehicles in the city’s taxi fleet, and the Taxi and Limousine Commission has agreed to make 50 percent of the fleet accessible in the next few years.

Ms. Prentiss, a fiery advocate who fought for accessibility on subways and in police stations, restaurants and public parks, died on March 16.

She made sure that she and the people she fought for were heard, even if that meant ruffling feathers.

“She was bristly and relentless and always prepared,” my colleague Penelope Green wrote in Ms. Prentiss’s obituary. “Woe to the city officials who had not kept their promise, or done their homework.”

Many government figures issued statements upon the news of Ms. Prentiss’s death, including Mayor Bill de Blasio; Victor Calise, the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; and Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president.

“She was brilliant,” Ms. Brewer told Ms. Green. “She took no prisoners. She dispensed with the niceties, but her heart was so generous.”

It’s Tuesday — speak up.


Dear Diary:

A young woman was sitting near me at a hair salon on the Upper East Side. We were having a conversation when she lowered her voice to whisper.

“I’m wearing fake eyelashes for the first time,” she said.

Surprised by this information, I told her they looked very natural and then asked her how they felt.

She paused.

“Like my eyelids are wearing clothes!” she said.

— Jane Seskin

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