Originally published in AMNY.
With Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing on Tuesday morning that the city’s vaccine supply would run out by Thursday, Comptroller Scott Stringer is requesting data on the inoculation rollout to ensure the equal distribution among New Yorkers.
Promoting vaccine access for all communities in the city, Stringer launch Fair Shot NYC which he said would review problems in the vaccine deployment and seek to resolve them, mainly through outreach to the public through local influencers such as clergy members.
“Today we’re calling for a number of things. First, we’re calling on the city to release all demographic data in real time, and who has received vaccination shots to date with breakdowns by zip code age and race,” Stringer said. “That data is crucial to ensure the vaccine is actually reaching the communities and populations and artists by the pandemic. And if it isn’t reaching those folks that data will show the city where it needs to double down. But as everyone here knows data without cultural, historical context are meaningless.”
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams spoke to the slow distribution of the vaccine at some facilities as highlighted by Governor Andrew Cuomo in recent weeks, but pointed out that the difficulty experienced by the public scheduling appointments and accepting the vaccine is a local issue that needs to be resolved.
“I want to be clear we absolutely need additional vaccines, and we all i’m sure gonna be on message,” Williams said. “But even the vaccines that we have, have not been distributed. So stop only discussing what we need from the federal government and discuss the things that we need to change on the local levels.”
According to Williams, the success of New York City organizers in completing the U.S. Census count during the height of the pandemic is an indication that there is no excuse for the public being left without information on how to get the vaccine and what to expect.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said it has been made apparent to her that there is no centralized portal for members of the public to schedule appointments to receive the vaccine, rather than having to grapple with different providers.
Stringer is hoping a centralized website on vaccinations will provide the city with an understanding of how black and brown New Yorkers, as well as the elderly, are accessing the vaccine and where they live. He added that the city may have information in question, but that it has not been shared with his office.