Actors’ Equity spoke out against stalled vaccinations in New York Thursday, saying a delay in vaccinations would lead to a delay in restarting the theater industry.
“New York City must be vaccinating residents around the clock to get the virus under control,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “The theatre industry has been closed for over 10 months now, and it has no hope of fully returning, and bringing back jobs, if we don’t hit critical mass with vaccines.”
Equity’s comments come after New York City had to cancel 23,000 vaccination appointments this week due to a lack of supply. The state is also poised to deplete its supply by the end of this week.
Many states are facing similar plights, as the federal government’s weekly allocation of vaccines is unable to meet the current demand.
In an effort to combat the issue, President Joe Biden unveiled a COVID-19 plan Thursday, which includes invoking the Defense Production Act to speed up the manufacturing of vaccine supplies, as well as testing supplies and personal protective equipment. The plan also includes calls for the federal government to release more doses to states, create more vaccination centers and encourages states to open up vaccine eligibility.
The administration has set a goal of 100 million people vaccinated within the first 100 days of Biden’s term.
Broadway theaters are currently closed until at least June 2021, with reopening plans hinging on controlling the pandemic.