In a reversal, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday the city would eventually release information about how many COVID-19 vaccine doses are sent to the hundreds of vaccination sites peppered around the city’s neighborhoods. The information is crucial for gauging whether vaccine access is truly equitable.

Gothamist had asked City Hall and the city Health Department for information on how many doses had been administered and distributed to the city’s sites, but was told the supply by the provider would not be released. On Wednesday, the mayor’s office cited a state policy that prohibits hospitals and other points of distribution from sharing precise dose amounts due to security concerns. But this provision only applies to supplies on hand and not to doses that have already been used.

De Blasio has previously emphasized how vaccine hesitancy and mistrust in health care systems have played a role in the racial disparity, in addition to access challenges. But more information on where the doses are being distributed would help determine the reasons for the inequities, including whether they’re due to the city's decision-making.

When asked again about the data during a press briefing on Thursday, de Blasio said city officials would release this information once it is compiled and vetted, though he didn't offer a timeline.

“I don't believe we should withhold it,” de Blasio told reporters Thursday. “We have some information. We don't have perfect information. But I think it's right to go the next step and show what's happening site by site. I'd be happy to see us do that. But I think it's fair to say it takes time and we have to make sure it's accurate."

De Blasio emphasized the city's release of information last spring showing people in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color were worse off during the pandemic. The pattern was a nationwide problem.

"We always do take pains to ensure that it is accurate and valid and contextualized before we share anything publicly," NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi added.

In recent weeks, City Hall has released vaccination data by ZIP code and demographics showing more white New Yorkers in wealthier neighborhoods are getting vaccinated than others. The data is imperfect; it does not break down vaccination rates by those who are currently eligible and 40% of people did not provide or were not asked about their race or ethnicity. Racial inequities in vaccinations have been recorded across the state, particularly among Black New Yorkers.

Dose allocation and supply shortages have complicated the vaccine campaign. Thousands of appointments have had to be canceled across different sites in the city.

This week, the Mount Sinai hospital system had to cut thousands of first-dose appointments—many of which were made months in advance. Officials at the hospital network implied city and state sites are now being prioritized over hospital hubs. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office blamed the hospital system for making appointments before its regular allocation had been confirmed by health regulators. A spokesperson for the governor said Wednesday doses were being shifted to local health departments as more hospital workers from phase 1a— more than 75% statewide—have been inoculated. The state has also concluded vaccinations for nursing home residents and staff.

The Greater New York Hospital Association has said week-to-week notice and supply changes have made planning difficult. This has frustrated both city and state officials.

The mayor’s office does not know the exact number of shots administered at every single site across the city. Even though the city gives doses to state-run sites like the Javits Center, and the Aqueduct, city officials are not informed as to how many are actually administered there every day, a spokesperson disclosed to Gothamist.