Cuomo gives in to pressure from de Blasio to expand COVID shots Monday

After days of unrelenting criticism, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday afternoon that elderly New Yorkers and frontline workers — including cops and teachers — across the state will be able to begin getting coronavirus vaccinations starting next week.

Currently, only hospital workers, paramedics and seniors who live in nursing homes are eligible to get COVID inoculations under strict state guidelines that have frustrated local officials across the Empire State, including his frequent sparring partner, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“On Monday, you can start to schedule appointments. Pharmacies will start coming online, some on Monday, more on Wednesday,” said Cuomo, who talked around the announcement for more than an hour before finally laying out his decision in response to a question from a reporter.

“Monday, basically, is when the registration website will open to make an appointment.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Matthew McDermott

Alongside the expansion in eligibility, Cuomo also announced new plans to dramatically expand the availability of the coronavirus vaccine by allowing urgent care, community health clinics and pharmacies to dispense it.

Hospitals that were already providing COVID jabs will also be able to vaccinate front line workers, but Cuomo warned they must continue to give priority to health care workers.