Citi Field finally opened as a COVID-19 vaccination site on Wednesday but demand far outstripped the meager supply — with dozens of desperate elderly locals showing up with no appointment, only to go home disappointed
“I’ve been waiting here for over two hours in the cold. I have been trying to get an appointment for four weeks, but can’t and nobody here is helping us,” said Maria Fernandez, 77, outside of the home turf of the Mets.
“There are so many reporters, photographers here, but there are no vaccines,” she said. “What are we supposed to do?”
The stadium officially opened for coronavirus vaccinations at 10 a.m. Wednesday following weeks of delays due to a shortage of the coveted shots. The site is supposed to serve borough residents as well as taxi drivers and restaurant workers.
But officials this week admitted that it would only have around 800 shots for the rest of the week. During a visit Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised that would be upped to 4,000 doses a week by next week.
He also vowed that anyone who shows up without an appointment will be given help to make one for a future date.
“There’s no such thing as walk-up and get a vaccination anywhere,” Hizzoner said. “We do not want long lines. We do not want people congregating anywhere.”
However, following the press conference, Annabel Palma, the chief equity officer for the city’s COVID-19 Test and Trace Corps, was seen telling a group of about eight people hoping to get inoculated that future appointments could not be made for them at the moment.
“We can’t register you because there aren’t vaccines,” Palma told the group in Spanish. “We aren’t going to give you an appointment if we don’t know for sure.”
Longtime Queens resident Felix Hojas, 69, then interjected that “the mayor is a liar or you are betraying us again.”
“Nobody is betraying you. Nobody is betraying the community,” Palma said before leaving.
These poor people should be thrilled to know that Bill's tax boondoggle wife got inoculated the day before.