New York Capital Brief:

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Pause

In accordance with the Federal call to suspend the use of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine, NYS issued a pause this Wednesday. New York State Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker issued the following statement on the matter:

“Today the CDC and FDA issued a statement recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution. New York State will follow the CDC and FDA recommendation and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide immediately today while these health and safety agencies evaluate next steps. All appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines today at New York State mass vaccination sites will be honored with the Pfizer vaccine.”

The temporary stop comes after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 received the vaccine and later developed blood clots; one case resulted in death.


Gov. Announces College Vaccine Initiative

Governor Cuomo announced on Monday that the State will allocate 35,000 vaccinations to college students attending both SUNY and private colleges. The vaccines will be administered to residential and non-commuter students who are leaving for the summer. Initially, this program was expected to utilize the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but due to the FDA-recommended pause on usage, students will receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.


NY Reopening Continues…

 Restaurants/Bars: Beginning on April 19th, the 11pm curfew for bars and restaurants is extended until 12am.

Graduation Ceremonies: Additionally, Governor Cuomo announced new updated guidance for graduation and commencement ceremonies organized by schools, colleges, and universities. Beginning on May 1st, indoor and outdoor graduation and commencement ceremonies will be allowed with limited attendee capacity, depending on the event size and the location (e.g., stadium, arena, arts and entertainment venue). All venues and attendees must follow health and safety protocols, including wearing face masks, social distancing, and collecting contact tracing information. Detailed guidance for graduation events is available here.

Recreation: On April 23rd, outdoor auto and horse racing tracks will be permitted to open to spectators at 20% capacity.


NYC Mayoral Race Update

As the June 22nd Mayoral Democratic primary approaches, competition continues to increase between the top four contenders – Andrew Yang, the 2020 presidential candidate; Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president; Scott Stringer, the city comptroller; and Maya D. Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio and a former MSNBC analyst.

According to the New York Times, here are the top three things to know:

  1. Working Families Party endorses three mayoral candidates.NYC will utilize rank-choice voting procedures for the primary, the WFP has announced that Scott Stinger is its first choice for mayor, Dianne Morales is second pick, and Maya Wiley is third.
  2. Scott Stringer has struggled to generate enthusiasm. Despite having name recognition, experience, and resources, many NYC voters say that he has yet to separate himself from the rest of the progressive, experienced candidates.
  3. Andrew Yang is accused of protesting for publicity. This past Monday, Yang was booed out of a protest in Battery Park. In a video shared on Twitter, protesters are seen shouting, “We do not want you here and you are not welcome here,” and “Do not use our protest for your publicity,” at Mr. Yang before he leaves on his bike.


Need a Vaccine Appointment?

Eligibility: In New York, all residents 16+ are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.

Getting an Appointment Online:

  • Vax4NYC – Streamlined, easy-to-use website listing appointments at city-run vaccine hubs in the five boroughs.
  • AmIEligible – Appointments for all state-run vaccine sites.
  • NYC Vaccine List – Shows what locations have appointments available and when. You still have to go to their respective websites to sign up.
  • TurboVax – This website was created to automatically show when new appointments are available, using a bot to trawl city- and state-run vaccine websites.
  • NYC COVID Vaccine Finder – This site is an aggregator that lists all the nearby vaccine hubs based on your zip code, including pharmacies, health care providers, and city- and state-run sites.
  • GoodRx – Lists nearby pharmacies offering the vaccine, based on your zipcode. It will still direct you to the pharmacy website to sign up.

Getting an Appointment by Phone:

  • NYS Vaccine Hotline: 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829) – Hotline to schedule appointments at state-run vaccine sites, including those in the five boroughs.
  • NYC Vaccine Hotline: 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692) – Hotline to schedule appointments at vaccine sites across the city.