New variant detected in New York amid growing crisis over vaccine rollout


January 5, 2021

Bryan Thomas/Getty Images, TNS - TNS

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio speaks to firefighters following the donation of meals on International Firefighters Day on May 4, 2020, in New York City. The confirmation of a more virulent coronavirus variant in New York could complicate the planned inoculation of some 20 million residents.

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York, the onetime center of the pandemic, faced a growing crisis on Monday over the lagging pace of coronavirus vaccinations, as deaths continue to rise in the second wave and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo came under mounting pressure to overhaul the process.

The small number of vaccine recipients is particularly striking in New York City, where roughly 110,000 people - in a city of more than 8 million - have received the first of two doses necessary to help prevent serious cases of the disease. That is about a quarter of the total number received by the city.

The concern over vaccinations in New York echoes problems reported during a sluggish rollout across the nation, and comes as a man in his 60s became the state's first confirmed case of a more contagious variant of the virus. The man was recovering, but Cuomo said early indications were that the case - in the northern city of Saratoga Springs - was evidence of community spread.


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