NYC announces timeline for Covid-19 vaccines’ arrival

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer is expected to arrive as early as December 15 and that by Moderna by December 22.

“Priority will be given to frontline medical workers and nursing homes,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Mayor as saying on Twitter on Wednesday.

“A vaccine is on the horizon. Don’t give up now. We have to work together to keep these numbers down,” he added.

The Mayor said that NYC’s Covid-19 infection rate on a seven-day average went down to 4.81 per cent on Wednesday, compared with 4.94 per cent one day earlier.

The Mayor also vowed not to let people of privilege “jump the line” and get vaccinated ahead of priority groups like people in nursing homes, health care workers and first responders.

“Their time will come,” he said at a press conference.

“We’ve got to protect those who serve us and those who are most vulnerable, and we will enforce that rigorously.”

On Tuesday, a panel meeting of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided that healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities will be the first groups to receive Covid-19 vaccines across the country.

More than 240,000 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19 and 858 have died since the onset of the pandemic, according to the CDC.

The meeting came a day after American drugmaker Moderna submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273.

Another vaccine candidate from American company Pfizer and German drugmaker BioNtech, applied for EUA on November 20.

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said on Monday the first two Covid-19 vaccines could be available to Americans before Christmas.