Anyone 30 or older can now seek out one of the available coronavirus vaccines in New York. And by April 6, that access will be universal, including anyone older than 16.
That was the surprise news offered by embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday as the state races to expand the list of more than 9 million doses already administered.
“Today we take a monumental step forward in the fight to beat COVID,” Cuomo said, in a release. “As we continue to expand eligibility, New York will double down on making the vaccine accessible for every community to ensure equity — particularly communities of color, who are too often let behind.
“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, 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.”
Cuomo continues to spearhead much of the state’s response to the pandemic, even as state lawmakers slowly try to strip away those powers in the wake of the nursing home death reporting scandal as well as allegations by a number of women claiming, at the very least, hostile work environments and sexual impropriety.
More than 2.6 million people have received at least one vaccine dose inside New York City, according to the governor’s office. Of those, about 1.6 million are now fully vaccinated.
President Joe Biden had called for 100 million doses to be administered across the country in his first 100 days in office. However, ramped up production and an expansion of available vaccine — including a single-dose alternative from Johnson & Johnson — allowed Biden to hit that goal weeks earlier than expected.
He’s now aiming to have 200 million doses in arms by the end of the month.
As of last weekend, 146 million doses have been administered with 52.6 million — or 16 percent of the population — fully vaccinated.