NY could have vaccine available within a week

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 December 2020 at 12:00 pm

First priority: nursing home residents and staff, high-risk hospital workers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today he expects the first shipments of a Covid-19 vaccine to be available in the state, possibly this weekend.

The state is due to receive 170,000 doses in the first Pfizer shipment. The governor said the first doses of the vaccine will go to nursing home residents and staff, and high-risk hospital workers.

The state will develop guidance on who should be considered high-risk hospital workers (emergency room, intensive care units) but Cuomo said each hospital will decide who gets the first round of the vaccine.

The governor said the first does of the vaccine will be distributed by the following amounts per region: 11,150 in Finger Lakes Region (which includes Orleans), 14,500 in Western New, 4,500 in Southern Tier, 6,400 in Central New York, 19,200 in Mid-Hudson, 3,700 in North Country, 4,200 in Mohawk Valley, 7,850 in Capital Region, 26,500 in Long Island and 72,000 in New York City.

Cuomo said the state will launch a public education campaign to encourage people to take the vaccine. He said 75-80 percent of the population needs to take it for it to be effective in shutting down Covid-19. He said he is concerned that 50 percent of the population don’t trust the new vaccine.

Cuomo has offered to be among the first to take it to show his confidence in the vaccine. He said vaccinating the population is needed to allow the state and country to move on from the Covid crisis, which has caused the deaths of nearly 300,000 Americans since March.