New York City will expand in-home vaccinations to “anyone who wants one,” Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday, marking the latest push to make immunization more convenient as the prevalence of the delta variant rises stokes new concerns.
The presence of the delta variant, the COVID-19 strain that the nation’s top infectious disease doctor describes as the “greatest threat” to America’s pandemic recovery, has been increasing in New York City and across the country in recent weeks.
That has fueled renewed urgency on the vaccination front, as experts from Dr. Anthony Fauci to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky expect delta to become the dominant strain in the U.S. as the more contagious U.K. strain once did.
Delta, known as B.1.617.2, now accounts for 5.6% of positive samples studied in New York City, up from 4.9% in city health officials’ last report two weeks ago. It has also been reclassified as a “variant of concern” since that previous update, which means there’s scientific evidence the strain is likely to cause higher risks of transmission, reinfection or severe illness, as well as reduced vaccine effectiveness.
The city had already been offering in-home vaccinations to New Yorkers over 75 years old as well as residents with disabilities.
“We’re expanding in-home vaccinations for anyone who wants one,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing. “This is really important. For folks who are ready, have not been vaccinated, but for whom it’s been a challenge to get to a vaccination site or they haven’t been sure, that lifesaving vaccine is now available right at your doorstep.”
De Blasio said the city has already reached over 15,000 New Yorkers with its in-home vaccination effort.
Anyone interested can go to nyc.gov/homevaccine to fill out a request.
De Blasio said more than 9,046,000 vaccine doses had been administered in the city as of Wednesday.
(AP / YWN World Headquarters – NYC)