Restaurant Workers in NYC Likely to Gain COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 1b Priority
Mayor given permission to add as well, taxi/uber drivers, and the developmentally disabled
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said that local governments could expand the 1b COVID-19 vaccination phase to include other essential workers such as taxi/uber drivers, restaurant workers and the developmentally disabled.
The statement came during his press briefing this afternoon.
“Yes, we have statewide priorities which are set by the federal government, but if a local government is now getting more and they believe in their local circumstance, they want to prioritize taxi drivers, Uber drivers because they think that’s been a problem or developmentally disabled facilities or restaurant workers, they have that flexibility,” said the Governor. “And again, they are getting more, so theoretically they would have additional supply to make those decisions, but that’s going to be up to the local government to add in the 1b category if they think it makes sense.”
Earlier in the day during his own press conference, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was ask by Katie Honan of the Wall Street Journal if he felt that restaurant workers should receive priority during the vaccine distribution. To which he responded:
“Yeah, absolutely. Look, the restaurant workers now are going to be in enclosed places with people eating and drinking. And every doctor on this line or any place else will say, that’s an area of concern. We have to protect the people working in our restaurants. So now that the State has made this decision, it follows that we have to protect those workers and they should be added to the 1b category.”
Thus far, the 1b vaccination phase has included seniors over the age of 65, grocery workers, first responders, hospital staff, public transportation workers, school staff and others.
The Governor recently announced that indoor dining in the city would resume on February 14, 2021 as long as recent improvements in COVID-19 indicators continued.