Mayor Announces Creation of COVID Vaccine Command Center, Vaccine Equity Plan

Vials of the COVID-19 vaccine are beginning to be distributed to hospitals across the city. Image Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The Vaccine Equity Plan focuses on 27 of the neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19. On December 11, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine command center and outlined the City’s Vaccine Equity Plan. The City expects to receive 465,000 doses of the vaccine by the start of January, and has currently delivered 42,900 doses. Initial vaccine doses are first being distributed to health care professionals and nursing homes, and then to other healthcare personnel. 

Vaccine Command Center

The Vaccine Command Center will be located at 253 Broadway and is a joint initiative between the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Health + Hospitals, the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity, the Mayor’s Office, and other agencies. The Command Center will be led by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Melanie Hartzog and Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. 

The Command Center will provide rapid response and real-time troubleshooting to hospitals, urgent care centers, private pharmacies, and other vaccine distribution sites. The Command Center will also track metrics on vaccine coverage. Test & Trace Corps and Department of Health outreach teams will be deployed from the Center and coordinate with elected officials and community leaders for vaccine drives.

A Vaccine Command Center website was launched on December 21st to track the City’s progress in administering vaccine doses. As of December 21st, 18,105 doses of the vaccine have been administered of the 42,900 doses currently distributed for healthcare workers and nursing homes. By already distributing 42 percent of the currently delivered vaccine doses, New York City has outpaced the national vaccine administration rate of 19 percent. 

Vaccine Equity Plan

Created with the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity, the Vaccine Equity Plan will ensure equitable vaccine distribution across 27 neighborhoods that were hardest hit by COVID-19. The City will use NYCHA space to vaccinate priority groups, and will work with NYCHA residents, community partners and faith leaders to share trustworthy information about the vaccine. 

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will host virtual conversations with residents of the 27 hardest hit neighborhoods to share information about the vaccine and to address questions or concerns. Community partners can access a training model to allow them to lead webinars and community conversations about the vaccine plan. 

The Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity will create a subcommittee on vaccine distribution and work with over 200 community organizations to increase outreach. Deputy Mayor Hartzog will also serve as a Co-Chair on the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity as she is responsible for the City’s COVID-19 response and necessary social services. 

Mayor de Blasio stated, “A vaccine must be distributed equally to be effective. COVID-19 has exposed our city’s most painful disparities, and we are addressing those inequities head-on and making a vaccine available for all New Yorkers.” 

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


One thought on “Mayor Announces Creation of COVID Vaccine Command Center, Vaccine Equity Plan

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.