New Rochelle Hospital Faces Criticism for Vaccinating City Employees

NEW YORK -

The Montefiore New Rochelle hospital is facing a state probe for vaccinating local officials.

According to state guidelines, the only people currently eligible to receive vaccines are health-care workers, EMS providers, first responders such as police officers or firefighters, and nursing-home staff and residents.

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and police officers were vaccinated, the New York Post reported. The hospital offered municipal employees the shot after there were vials left over from vaccinating their own staff.

The hospital was going to begin vaccinating local teachers before the state put an end to the illegal rollout.

Bramson later said, “Montefiore misinterpreted the state guidelines and should not have been administering the vaccines.”

“It’s enormously frustrating and the City for its part is trying to do the right thing and adhere rigorously to the rules. We were told to do X, and then told to do Y. That’s it,” the New Rochelle mayor added.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to maintain a strict hierarchy of who can receive the coronavirus vaccine and when has frustrated many New Yorkers, among them New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“As I understand it … the City of New Rochelle, which obviously was in the epicenter of the beginning of the crisis — they just proceeded to vaccinate first responders and essential workers and the state of New York announced they are fining the city and taking away their vaccine. Which is punitive, which is counterproductive, which is stopping vaccine from actually being used,” de Blasio said in a radio interview.

Visibly frustrated, de Blasio has taken to using his weekly press conferences to publicly plead for Cuomo to ease guidelines on who could be eligible for being vaccinated.

“You told that story … of local health officials upstate having to throw away vaccine even though they had people immediately available to take the vaccine because state law literally would have fined them $1 million, doctor’s licenses would have been threatened,” the mayor said. “They’ve created a situation that’s creating fear and confusion and where doctors can’t act even when they know someone’s vulnerable.”