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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces New York has administered 38,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine - the highest total in the nation.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces New York has administered 38,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine - the highest total in the nation.

COVID-19: Cuomo provides vaccination update

Mon, Dec 21st 2020 03:15 pm

New York has administered 38,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine – highest total in nation

346,000 doses of Moderna vaccine and 120,000 additional doses of Pfizer vaccine arriving this week

New York launches vaccine equity task force; developing community vaccination kits

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced more than 38,000 vaccine doses have been administered in New York state as of Monday morning – the highest reported total in the nation thus far.

Bolstering this effort, the first 346,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to begin arriving in New York, with an additional 120,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected later this week.

The governor also announced the launch of New York's vaccine equity task force chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Attorney General Letitia James, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, and Healthfirst President and CEO Pat Wang. The task force will work to ensure vulnerable and underserved communities are not left behind by breaking down the barriers to vaccination and ensuring there is equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state.

Cuomo said New York is developing community vaccination kits to provide communities – particularly those located within “health care deserts” – with the supplies and resources needed for standing up vaccination sites.

The governor announced a federal program to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff has begun in New York and is expected to vaccinate residents and staff at 618 facilities across the state, with first doses administered starting Monday and over the next two weeks.

"We're now talking about who's getting vaccinated, and let me be clear: there is no politics in the vaccination process," Cuomo said. "We went through this with COVID testing, with big shots, celebrities, and affluent people getting to the front of the line. This preferential treatment in COVID testing undermines our entire sense of democracy, equality and a government that works for all people. And in this time of COVID where we've seen gross injustices, politics has nothing to do with it. There's no governor, no county executive, and no mayor who controls the process, and anyone who says that is not telling the truth or violating the law. This is entirely done by medical professionals, and our hospitals have already vaccinated more people than any state in the nation."

Vaccine Equity

Health experts have projected that, in order to win the war against COVID-19, between 75% and 85% of the population needs to receive the vaccine. As such, New York has made it a top priority to ensure vulnerable and underserved communities are not left behind.

To further this work, breakdown barriers to access and ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine, the governor is launching New York's vaccine equity task force. Members include:

  • Frederick Shack, CEO, Urban Pathways Inc.
  • Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, president, SUNY Albany
  • Murad Awawdeh, interim co-executive director, New York Immigration Coalition
  • Dr. Henry Chen, president, SOMOS Community Care
  • Phyllis Jackson, founder and executive director, Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition; community wellness project manager, Common Ground Health
  • Guillermo Chacón, president, Latino Commission on AIDS; founder, Hispanic Health Network
  • George Gresham, president, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
  • Ruth Hassell-Thompson, special adviser for policy and community affairs, NYS Homes and Community Renewal
  • Frankie Miranda, president and CEO, Hispanic Federation
  • Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church
  • Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director, Asian American Federation
  • Dr. Hazel Dukes, president, NAACP New York State Conference
  • Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor, Grace Baptist Church
  • Judith Watson, CEO, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center
  • Dr. Rosa Gil, founder, president and CEO, Comunilife Inc.
  • Dr. Wayne Riley, president, SUNY Downstate Medical Center; chair, board of trustees, New York Academy of Medicine
  • Danny Barber, chair, NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents; president, Jackson Houses Tenant Association
  • Kyle Bragg, president, 32BJ SEIU
  • Karim Camara, executive director and deputy commissioner, Governor's Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services
  • Rev. Mark E. Blue, president, Buffalo Chapter NAACP

Community Vaccination Kits

The governor’s office said community vaccination kits will be a key part of New York's efforts to increase access to vaccines in Black, Latino, rural, poor and public housing communities, as well as other “health care deserts” by providing all essential equipment and supplies to administer vaccines to those populations most in need of support.

Specifically, each kit includes step-by-step instructions for how to set up a site, and critical supplies and equipment such as:

  • Office supplies
  • Workstation equipment
  • Communications equipment
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Lighting equipment
  • PPE
  • Crowd/traffic control equipment
  • Vials
  • Syringes
  • Room dividers
  • Privacy curtains


Nursing Homes

New York began a federal program to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff at 618 facilities enrolled in the program to date. CVS will vaccinate 271 facilities, Walgreens will vaccinate 253 facilities, and other pharmacies will vaccinate 94 facilities. The program in its entirety is expected to take approximately six weeks, including three "clinical days" at each facility:

Day 1: All residents/portion of staff receive shot No. 1 (expected to be completed over next two weeks)

Day 2: All residents/portion of staff receive shot No. 2, portion of staff receive shot No. 1.

Day 3: Remaining staff receive shot No. 2

COVID-19 Statistics

On Sunday, Niagara County had 127 new positive coronavirus cases (7.7% of 1,642 tested). The seven-day rolling average was 7.8%.

The Niagara County Department of Health issued the following update on positive COVID-19 cases:

“We are sorry to report the deaths of three Niagara County residents. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of these three individuals”: an 84-year-old male with underlying health conditions; a 79-year-old male with underlying health conditions; and a 46-year-old male with underlying health conditions.”

The rest of the update is as follows:

Erie County

On Sunday, Erie County had 388 new positive coronavirus cases (6.6% of 5,887 tested). The seven-day rolling average was 6%.

The yearly total is 36,235 (including 789 on Grand Island and 13,291 in the City of Buffalo). To date, 914,477 people have been tested (4% positive), with 1,061 deaths attributed to the coronavirus. Also, 94,683 people have taken an antibody test (7.8% positive).

Image courtesy of the Erie County “heat map”

Image courtesy of Erie County/Erie County Department of Health




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