A city-run COVID-19 vaccination site on Staten Island ran out of doses over the weekend — leaving some would-be recipients high-and-dry as they showed up to the facility without being told their appointments had already been cancelled, officials admitted Tuesday.
Mitchell Katz, the president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, confirmed that vaccine appointments had to be cancelled at Gotham Health/Vanderbilt clinic in Clifton on Sunday after the facility used up all its shots.
“We ran out of vaccine at Vanderbilt, which is not our fault, but it is our fault … that people were not given correct phone calls to tell them that they – that their appointment was canceled,” Katz said during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press briefing after a reporter asked about the matter.
“We are currently working on rescheduling all those people and I profoundly apologize to anybody who went to that site and did not get a call ahead of time canceling it,” said Katz.
Katz added, “One of the challenges we face is that every week we get an unknown number of vaccines to each site on a particular day from the state distribution. Until that day, we don’t know how many vaccines we’re getting or to which site, and then we are meant to use them as rapidly as possible.”
Vaccine appointments cannot be rescheduled at the city’s 11 public hospitals until “I have the vaccine in hand,” Katz said.
Katz noted that he was alerted to the issue Monday morning.
“I know yesterday they began to call, and I will check and see today how many people they’ve been able to reach,” said Katz.
It was not immediately clear how many New Yorkers had their vaccine appointments cancelled at the Gotham Health/Vanderbilt site, but de Blasio called it a “small number of people.”
“That obviously is not acceptable and not what we want to see happen,” de Blasio said.
Last week, nearly 340,000 vaccine doses were administered in the Big Apple, according to the mayor.