Andrew Cuomo has asked Pfizer if he can buy COVID-19 vaccines directly from the drug manufacturer to speed up the vaccination process because the USA government is not providing enough supply. NY has moved heaven and earth to create one of the most expansive vaccination networks in the nation and we are getting shots in arms as quickly and efficiently as possible-we just simply need more vaccine. At the current pace of federal vaccine shipments to NY, it could take six months or more to get shots to the 7 million residents already eligible under federal guidelines, let alone the roughly 12 million other New Yorkers.
The supply gaps, coming as the United States vaccination effort enters its second month, prompted some healthcare systems to suspend appointments for first-time vaccine seekers and one NY healthcare system to cancel a slew of existing ones.
Cuomo has criticized the Trump administration for further expanding that eligibility too quickly, without enough supply to meet the increased demand. The commemoration, spearheaded by Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris hours before they take the helm of a country in crisis, represents the federal government's first nod to the staggering death toll from the pandemic.
"When communities decide to slow the spread, it will slow down. All of this will further our goal to vaccinate 70 to 90 percent of New Yorkers as soon as possible and reach herd immunity", he said. "NY is doing its part in getting the vaccine distributed quickly and fairly, but we need the federal government to step up and increase the supply", he added.
And Long Island and two other regions reported the highest numbers of total population now hospitalized with COVID-19, at about 0.06 percent. "I was planning to go - I'm not going to", the Post quotes Cuomo during a virtual press briefing as saying, "I think my place is to stay in NY state given this possible circumstance". That includes over 835,000 first doses and over 83,000 second doses. "However, before we can sell directly to State governments, HHS would need to approve that proposal based on the EUA granted to Pfizer by the FDA". On Tuesday, his last full day as president, Trump had no public events scheduled, although US Vice President Mike Pence was planning to convene the White House Coronavirus Task Force for its last meeting under his watch.
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Only 12.3 million doses have been administered, with only 10.6 million people having received at least one of the two required shots, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Under Biden's plan, federal disaster-relief workers would set up thousands of centres, where retired doctors would administer shots to teachers, grocery store workers, people over 65 years old and other groups who do not now qualify under current vaccination guidelines. Pharmacies will be provided vaccines for New Yorkers aged 65 and older, while hospitals will continue vaccinating 1a healthcare workers, and local health departments and union-organized efforts will serve essential workers in 1b. Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital has the most, with a vaccination rate of nearly 85%. In New York City, the percentage is 0.04.
Cuomo said about 64% of hospital workers in Western New York have been vaccinated.
Cuomo said eight additional mass vaccine sites would be opening across the state this week.