City Council holds oversight hearings for NYC's vaccine distribution plan

The New York City Council Committee on Hospitals held an oversight hearing for New York City's distribution plan for the vaccine.
According to the committee, the vaccine should be available for the general population by the middle of 2021.
For now, the vaccine will be distributed in three phases, which is being established by the federal government.
The New York City Council Committee on Hospitals held an oversight hearing for New York City's distribution plan for the vaccine.
According to the committee, the vaccine should be available for the general population by the middle of 2021.
For now, the vaccine will be distributed in three phases, which is being established by the federal government.
Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said they expect phase 1a to last for at least a few weeks and hope to move into other parts of phase 1 in January or February.
"We need New Yorkers to trust us," says Chokshi. "Trust is an essential ingredient of turning a vaccine into a vaccination, but this begins with that we are worthy of the public trust."
Although the FDA still has yet to approve the Pfizer vaccine, New York City is expecting its first shipment to arrive by the week of Dec. 14. City Council members asked if authorization is mandatory for use.
"We will have to wait upon authorization," says Chokshi. "However, we do know that everyone is making precautions to ship and distribute them so that there is minimal delay between the authorization and when they're shipped."
Enough doses of this Pfizer vaccine for 170,000 people will be sent to New York, and additional doses from the Moderna vaccine will be sent later in December.
Chokshi says the first group likely to get the vaccine will be health care workers and long-term care residents and staff. Next would be essential workers who are at higher risk and can't socially distance properly at their jobs. Last would be people who are at greater risk of COVID-19, like seniors and people with underlying medical conditions.
It's important to note that these phases are fluid, and the federal government is still working to determine if other groups, like homeless shelters and prisons or jails, will be given priority to the vaccine.
At this point in time, Health Commissioner Chokshi said neither the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine have sufficiently tested on children yet and have not seen enough outcome data, efficacy, and safety to recommend it for people under 18 years old.
They are hoping for a safe vaccine for children at some point in 2021.