The state plans to use thousands of public distribution sites across New York to expedite the COVID-19 vaccine to essential workers, the elderly and eventually the general public as officials expect immunization supply to increase in the coming months.
The initial supply is reserved for high-risk and all health care workers, especially those who directly work with the public according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, but eligibility will expand to vaccinate essential workers and New Yorkers over age 75 in the next phase, or those most at risk to become hospitalized or die from COVID-19 complications.
“If you have a hospital now that says, ‘I did all my health care workers and I have an extra allocation,’ contact us and we’ll move it,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday during a coronavirus briefing in the state Capitol in Albany. “...I’m deluged with phone calls from health care workers who say, ‘I want the vaccine, but I can’t get it.’”
The state’s more than 5,000 pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, county health departments, long-term care facilities, private urgent care clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities will administer the vaccine to those larger groups, and eventually, the general public.
The state will supply all of these outlets with the vaccine to do the distribution when we get to the general public. The distribution system is going to outpace the supply system right now, which is the way it should be.
The nation’s vaccine supply is expected to increase with the pending U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval of Oxford-Astra Zeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines.
More vaccine is on the way.