New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that officials expect the first shipments of avaccine as soon as December 15.
"The cavalry is coming," de Blasio said, "and the moment we have all been waiting for is finally here."
The Pfizer vaccine is expected to begin arriving 12 days from now, followed Moderna shipments a week later, on the 22nd, according to de Blasio.
The priority for vaccinations will be high-risk healthcare workers, and nursing home workers and residents.
"Over time there will be enough vaccine for everyone but we are going to have to prioritize in waves to make sure that those in greatest need get the vaccine first," de Blasio said. "This will obviously take months."
He said the focus will be on the 27 neighborhoods in the city that were most deeply affected by the coronavirus, and that vaccine shipments will be coming in weekly.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that New York's first delivery of the Pfizer vaccine will be enough for 170,000 New Yorkers.
The news came as 8,973 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state. Total hospitalizations as of Wednesday stood at 3,924.