Gov. Cuomo on vaccine distribution, underlying health conditions

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Day 321 of the pandemic and Governor Andrew Cuomo is optimistic New York will win the war against the coronavirus with the vaccine as its biggest weapon. But how long it takes to get the shot into people’s arms depends on the supply.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended for those 65 years of age and older to be eligible for the vaccine. Cuomo said that makes 7.1 million New Yorkers eligible but the state only has 250,000 to 300,000 vaccines to hand out each week. He estimates it could be 6 months before Phase 1B of the distribution plan is complete.

In order to keep distribution of the vaccine fair for all groups, the governor said distribution centers need to prioritize who they give the vaccine to.

DISTRIBUTION SITEPRIORITY
HospitalsDoctors, nurses, and staff
County Health DepartmentsEssential workers in Phase 1B
Pharmacies & Doctor NetworksPatients 65+

Cuomo says prioritization at distribution sites is important to keep the opportunities for groups to get vaccinated fair. “Focus on your group and if you do that there will be fairness”.

The governor also addressed the CDC’s addition of those with underlying health conditions to Phase 1B of distribution. He said his office is talking with federal officials to clarify what pre-existing conditions would qualify. According to Cuomo’s math, if everyone with pre-existing conditions is allowed to be vaccinated it would give 12 million people access to the vaccine.

A total of 827,715 doses of the vaccine have been administered. That’s 731,285 of the first dose and 96,430 of the second dose. Over 4 weeks, the state has administered 74% of its vaccine allotment. By region, some are doing better than others. The North Country has given 90% of its vaccine allotment. New York City has only given out 60%.


The governor said the disparities in shots given are not just by region but by providers as well. In every region, there are some providers that have administered 100% of their allotments and some that are far behind. He said vaccine distribution at the state level is determined by a region’s population, however, going forward if a region is getting the vaccine out faster they could receive a larger amount of doses in the future.

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