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Gov. Andrew Cuomo provides a coronavirus update from the Red Room at the State Capitol. To his right is New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. (Photo by Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo provides a coronavirus update from the Red Room at the State Capitol. To his right is New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. (Photo by Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo)

Cuomo provides second update on vaccinations

Submitted

Wed, Jan 6th 2021 09:00 am

911,000 vaccines will be distributed to providers by end of week

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday updated New Yorkers on the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts. By the end of this week, the state will have distributed approximately 911,000 first doses of the vaccine to providers for administration to eligible New Yorkers. Additionally, the governor announced that, to date, 3,762 providers have applied and been approved by the state to serve as vaccination sites. Currently, 636 locations are now activated and are able to begin vaccinating eligible New Yorkers.

To prepare for the next phase of eligibility, Cuomo is encouraging essential worker groups such as police departments, fire departments, educators and public transit organizations to begin developing plans to vaccinate their workforce. Plans would ease the burden on hospitals and other vaccination locations when the general public becomes eligible to receive a vaccine.

In addition, the governor renewed his call on the federal government to test all travelers from outside the U.S. His press release stated, “Despite the fact that the highly transmissible U.K. strain has been identified in 33 countries, as well as here in the state of New York, the federal government has yet to learn from mistakes made in the spring and mandate testing for international travelers entering the country.”

"The vaccine is the weapon that will win this war and we must move quickly and efficiently to get New Yorkers vaccinated as soon they become eligible," Cuomo said. "All health care workers can now receive the vaccine and the state is working around the clock to ensure resources are in place as more and more members of the general public become eligible to receive it. While these efforts are underway, the U.K. strain of the virus remains highly problematic – it is here and it could complicate matters further, as it is much more transmissible. Despite all of this, the federal government continues its refusal to test all international travelers entering the country. Government is supposed to be competent, government leaders are supposed to be competent. We already saw this situation play out in the spring – have we learned nothing?"

New York is working to distribute vaccines to eligible groups “as fairly and expeditiously as possible.” Work is also under way to prepare for widespread vaccination of the general public once allowable under state guidelines. As part of this work, New York has worked with the public and private sectors across the state to develop a “retail network” of vaccination provider sites. Similar to operations for the annual distribution of the influenza vaccine and ongoing COVID-19 testing, these sites will help ensure access to the vaccine through multiple locations in each of the state's 10 regions. The network includes pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, local health departments, private urgent care clinics, private doctor networks, and other sites capable of vaccinations.

More sites continue to be added to the network every day.

A breakdown of the different types of retail vaccination sites is as follows:

 

Site Type

Number Enrolled to Administer Vaccine

Medical practice

1,285

Pharmacy – chain

802

Long-term care/congregate living facility

510

Federally qualified health center

325

Hospital/hospital sites

250

Urgent care

238

Community/rural/public health center & clinic

176

Other

176

 

A regional breakdown of sites is as follows:

 

Region

Number of Sites Enrolled to Administer Vaccine

New York City

845

Long Island

713

Mid-Hudson

549

Capital Region

343

North Country

150

Mohawk Valley

147

Southern Tier

145

Central New York

222

Finger Lakes

297

Western New York

351

 

Already, 636 of these sites have been activated and are administering the vaccine to eligible New Yorkers. Those include:

 

Site Type

Number

Federally qualified health centers

244

Hospital/hospital sites

213

Urgent care clinics

133

Local health departments

46

 

A regional breakdown of activated sites is as follows:

 

Region

Number of Sites

New York City

207

Long Island

105

Mid-Hudson

104

Capital Region

37

North Country

25

Mohawk Valley

19

Southern Tier

23

Central New York

29

Finger Lakes

47

Western New York

40

 

In an effort to take preemptive steps to ensure this network of sites does not become immediately overwhelmed once the vaccine is available to the general public, the governor is encouraging essential worker groups such as police departments, fire departments, educators and public transit organizations to begin developing plans for their workforce, if possible. The press release noted, “The more groups of essential workers able to receive vaccines through internal distribution plans, the more availability there will be for those New Yorkers seeking the vaccine through the 'retail network.' ”

To further bolster these plans, New York is continuing to move forward on a number of special efforts to ensure resources are in place to facilitate widespread vaccination, especially in underserved communities. Pop-up vaccination centers will be established to facilitate public vaccinations. The state is also identifying public facilities and convention centers to also be used as vaccination centers. This includes the Javits Center, as well as SUNY and CUNY facilities. The state is also actively recruiting retired nurses, doctors and pharmacists to support vaccine administrations.

A main focus of these efforts is ensuring vaccine access in underserved communities and health care deserts. The state has already begun building community vaccination kits and working with public housing officials, churches and community centers to support these efforts and deploy kits to the appropriate locations. 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

 

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