What to Know
- New York is rolling out a new suite of incentives to encourage vaccinations among those less motivated as the state reports a drop of 41% in vaccination rates over the last month alone
- The city is offering free tickets to attractions like Lincoln Center, NYC Aquarium and Bronx Zoo and a two-week Citi Bike membership while the state is chipping in free 7-day MetroCards, among other bonuses
- Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday the mass vaccination site at the Mets' Citi Field would add a drive-thru option starting May 13 in hopes of reaching those who prefer to stay in their vehicles.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the Pfizer vaccine could be authorized for use among 12- to 15-year-olds in New York as early as Thursday if the state health commissioner and Clinical Advisory Task Force recommend so. That meeting won't happen until the CDC's planned vaccine advisory committee on Wednesday, he said.
But if the CDC gives the OK as it is expected to do, that vaccine, the only emergency-use approved for use among older minors so far, could be distributed to adolescents later this week. That means states could essentially have their middle school students vaccinated well before the fall, along with their older populations.
Asked Tuesday whether New York City will require all students and teachers to be vaccinated when public schools return to "full strength" this fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio had a definitive answer: "No across the board."
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"We are seeing extraordinary success right now in our schools and that was before we were able to vaccinate our kids," he added. "Schools have been incredibly safe because of that gold standard of safety measures we put together. We look forward to welcoming back every single student. I think that's the right way to go about it."
Cuomo has already pitched high schools to start bussing kids of eligible age to vaccine sites as he looks to shore up a vaccine rollout that has seen rates plunge by 41% since April 12. Rates have dropped nationally, too.
New York is trying to sweeten the vaccine deal even more as statewide shot rates plunge, adding a free two-week Citi Bike membership Tuesday to a slate of new incentives that also includes free tickets to some of the city's most iconic spots.
The city is offering free tickets and deals for the NYC Aquarium, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Bronx Zoo, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Cyclones, NYC Ferry and the Public Theater among other popular attractions, for those who get vaccinated at its sites.
De Blasio pledged "many opportunities to get great, great prizes when you get vaccinated" still to come as he looks to hit hits goal of fully inoculating 5 million New Yorkers by the end of June. He's about 62% of the way there so far.
Shortly after the mayor's pitch, Cuomo added transit incentives to the pool. Getting a vaccine at a subway, Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North hub this Wednesday through Sunday will come with a free ride -- a few of those, actually.
Anyone who gets vaccinated at a designated subway station during that four-day window gets a free seven-day MetroCard and anyone vaccinated at an LIRR or Metro-North hub earn two free one-way trips anywhere in the service area.
That program will use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which means people can leave for work, for example, get a shot at their usual commute spot and be fully vaccinated by the time they get to the office.
New York state and city, along with New Jersey, have all made their locally run vaccine sites available to walk-ins of any eligible age, which tackles the "eliminate excuses" and "access" components that Cuomo says give some people pause.
De Blasio said Tuesday the mass vaccination site at the Mets' Citi Field would add a drive-thru option starting May 13 in hopes of reaching those who prefer to stay in their vehicles.
The latest vaccine push comes as the city prepares to resume round-the-clock subway service in less than a week -- on May 17 -- for the first time since the pandemic hit.
Two days later, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will lift nearly all remaining business capacity restrictions, a coordinated reopening effort similar to the coordinated shutdown the governors first implemented in March 2020.
Not sure how the process works? Check out our handy tri-state vaccine site finder and FAQs here
New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers
Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC