As nursing home staffs and residents across New York began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered the news that nearly 500,000 more doses of the Pfizer and Moderna inoculations are on the way to the Empire State.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine received approval from the FDA over the weekend. The first of the 346,200 doses New York is receiving in the first phase of vaccination were due to arrive here Monday, according to Cuomo.
Meanwhile, New York is on the verge of getting another 120,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, which began being administered to health care workers a week ago. Thus far, New York leads the country in doses administered — 38,000 as of Monday.
COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to people in two doses, 21 days apart. Staff members from pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS are providing doses at nursing homes over a three-day period, with all residents and a portion of the staff receiving them on the first two days, and all of the staff getting it on the third day.
After the first doses are administered, pharmacy staff will return to the nursing homes in three weeks’ time to provide the second shots. Cuomo expects that the first round of nursing home shots will be completed in about 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.”
To that end, the governor announced the launch of the state’s Vaccine Equity Task Force, which aims to ensure that the shot is available to all communities regardless of status. New York will also be creating and distributing community vaccination kits designed to provide the vaccine in low-income areas and communities of color where few health care facilities or pharmacies are available.