COVID NYC Update: Johnson & Johnson shots to arrive in New York City, will be dedicated to homebound seniors

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — New York City expects to receive its initial shipment of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday and will dedicate it to homebound seniors and others who cannot get to distribution centers.

“It’s the homebound seniors that we are focused on, because clearly, the best way to distribute vaccine is at vaccine centers, except if someone literally can’t get to one,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “That’s where we have a plan we are developing now, we will be announcing in more detail, for homebound seniors…Obviously, if you are a homebound senior, you can get it done in one shot, that makes a lot more sense. You do not have the option of going out and getting your second shot. The focus, first and foremost, will be on neighborhoods of greatest need, those 33 neighborhoods.”

New York State expects to receive 164,800 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses in the first tranche. The state is using its J&J supply for overnight vaccinations, to make sites like Yankee Stadium and the Javits Center 24-7 operations.

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De Blasio said it is another reason for local control.

“This is another example of why we need local control because if vaccinations are being given in New York City, we want full visibility of what’s happening,” he said. “If New York City is going to be asked to vaccinate a lot of folks from suburbs, New Jersey, Connecticut, then give us a hell of a lot more vaccine. That has to be reflected in the federal allotment, which needs to grow for New York City and the way the state manages it. And the best way to do that is the state to restore local control.”

Dr. Jay Varma added that people should not be trying to time their appointments at the Javits Center to get one vaccine brand vs. another.

“We really want to steer away from this notion that one brand is different than another,” he said. “I would hope the story would be about 24-hour access at Javits Center, rather than if you come at this time you are getting this brand as opposed to another.”

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The Javits Center administered its 100,000th shot Tuesday, likely making them the busiest site in the country. They are now doing 8,000 shots a day.

They are gearing up for the overnight appointments, which start Friday into Saturday.

De Blasio said he is “very confident” the city will reach its goal of five million vaccinations by June with the increased Johnson & Johnson production.

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