Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has updated New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine after the first four weeks of availability for non-long term care facilities. The State’s vaccine supply is determined by the federal government, and although over 7 million New Yorkers are now eligible for the COVID vaccine, the state only receives 300,000 doses per week from the federal government. To date, New York’s health care distribution sites have administered 75 percent of doses received from the federal government.
Due to the federal government’s limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly. New Yorkers are being urged to call your local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments. To determine eligibility and schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site, visit the ‘Am I Eligible‘ website.
“New York is working around the clock to get needles in arms quickly and efficiently, but we are being constrained by the federal government – they increased eligibility, but never increased supply,” Governor Cuomo said. “What they did was like opening the floodgates of eligibility. Now, 7 million New Yorkers are eligible, but we are still only receiving about 300,000 doses a week. Even worse, we actually got less doses this week at about 250,000. New York has done its part and now has one of the most expansive distribution networks to actually conduct the vaccinations and it’s time for the federal government to do theirs and actually increase the supply. If they don’t, it will only lengthen the amount of time it will take to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Since federal supply severely limits the ability to distribute vaccine, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment. New York’s vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals far exceed the vaccine supply coming from the federal government, which is arriving at a rate of approximately 300,000 doses per week. As such, eligible New Yorkers should be prepared to receive an appointment date as far as 14 weeks or further in the future.
To further accelerate the vaccination rate of priority health care workers, and begin the vaccination of newly eligible New Yorkers. New York has established a network of distribution sites that will supplement the work being done in hospitals to prevent any one hospital from becoming overburdened. This network includes the five state-run sites opening this week, as well as 15 more which will be announced in the coming days. This new network will also utilize doctors’ offices, Federally-Qualified Health Centers, county health departments, ambulatory centers and pharmacies to get doses in the arms of eligible New Yorkers. More than 1,200 pharmacies have already committed to participating in this network. 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.