New York City will offer free, same-day home delivery of COVID-19 antiviral medications, Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday — while dodging the question of when he might revoke the Big Apple’s various vax mandates.
Adams said the oral antiviral pills are “proven to keep people out of the hospital, particularly whose who are at-risk or seriously ill.
“We’re going to do it with the magic New York word. We’re going to do it for ‘free,’ ” Adams said of the giveaway program during a COVID briefing at Jacobi Hospital in The Bronx.
“We want to make sure that no one with COVID has to move throughout the city, especially for those who have immune compromise or our elderly,” the mayor said. “We want to bring it to you, and we want you to take advantage of this. This is a great deal and a great program we’ve put together.”
The Big Apple also will provide monoclonal antibody infusions “for patients who have mild to moderate symptoms for 10 days or less but are at high risk for severe illness,” City Hall said in a statement.
Hizzoner — asked at what point he might consider revoking the city’s various vaccination requirements — only said he’d defer to local health officials and that any changes would be “balanced” with the Apple’s economic needs.
“I’ve stated this from the beginning: I’m going to go based on advice of my medical experts,” he said, before adding that the city’s economy would factor “a lot” into the decision.
“I must take my medical advice with the economic advice,” Adams said. “Just as I’m sitting down with my doctors and medical professionals, I’m sitting down with my economists.
“We have to have that right balance. It can’t be just one way or the other.”
Reported COVID-19 cases have dropped 80 percent in the city since early January, according to health officials.
Seven-five percent of New Yorkers are now “fully vaccinated,” meaning they have received either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Adams praised his predecessor Bill de Blasio for instituting vaccine mandates for city employees, businesses and indoor venues such as restaurants and concert halls — and added that he planned to call the former mayor himself later Sunday to thank him.
“I want to take my hat off to the de Blasio administration for putting in place some very tough decisions around mandates and around how do we ensure that we can make our city a safe place, and I just want to commend them for what they have done,” he said. “
I’m going to call the mayor later today and just tell him that, you know, we were able to build on what he put in place already.”