"It's tricky because on the one hand, it would have been nice to, To have been considered earlier forward, but on the other hand, I recognize the reality that you want to protect the most vulnerable first. I think that the announcement from Governor Cuomo acknowledges some of what we've been dealing with and all along and it's nice to be included in this group."
"You know, since pandemic, I never closed my store. You know, I'm working a year and so vaccination is really important for us because we are kind of essential, doing essential business. So I'm so excited and I want to do my, get vaccination as soon as possible, because I'm contacted a lot of people every single day, so me and my employee can get it, I would love to."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday he is giving county officials the power to add taxi drivers and restaurant workers to the list of people eligible for a coronavirus vaccine.
If counties take the governor up on his offer, that would mean another major expansion of eligibility rules, even as New York struggles with an extremely limited supply of shots.
The state estimated 7 million people — including health care workers, group home residents and staff, teachers, police, firefighters, public transit workers, grocery store workers and people over 65 — were eligible before this latest potential expansion.
Jake Dell, owner of the famed Katz's Delicatessen in New York City, says he is happy that his employees will now be able to start the process of getting the vaccine.
"I think that the announcement from Governor Cuomo acknowledges some of what we've been dealing with all along and it's nice to be included in this group," said Dell.
Oya Mungan says she has never closed her coffee shop restaurant during the pandemic and she can't wait to get vaccinated.
"I'm so excited," said Mungan. "I want to do whatever vaccination is possible, because I'm contacted (by) a lot of people every single day."
Statewide, New York had an estimated 865,800 restaurant and food service jobs as of 2019, according to the National Restaurant Association.