As fears of the mutated COVID-19 virus mounting in other countries mount, and the Tuesday discovery of the UK variant in Saratoga, Governor Andrew Cuomo is requesting Customs and Border Patrol make efforts to prevent illness from abroad from entering New York through its airports.
“I’m asking today the Customs and Border Patrol to either require in New York airports that the person shows that they were tested before admission, or allow the Port Authority staff to request the people coming through customs, whether or not they were tested,” Cuomo said. “But we don’t want 10s of 1,000s of people coming through our airports, every day from countries around the world, who would not test it.”
One of the concerns voiced by the governor in Wednesday’s press conference was that of a more dangerous version of the virus, apart from the 117 variant from the UK, entering the country and pushing the pharmaceutical industry back to the drawing board on vaccination developments.
The vaccine has been widely accepted by hospital staff with a state survey indicating 85% of healthcare workers, excluding doctors, are will to take the inoculation. And while the past three weeks have seen 10,000 vaccinations everyday, but the past two days have seen well over 31,000 daily.
According to Cuomo, this is an indication that hospitals are picking up the pace on distribution after a week of warnings from the state that any hospital slacking on giving out the vaccine will be fined $100,000 and may have their privileges of being allocated the drug revoked.
New York City overall has a 6.39% infection rate influenced heavily by the number of cases in Staten Island, which continues to have the highest of the five boroughs.
Vaccine supply is expected to increase in the near future with the Federal Drug Administration moving forward to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca, and the Johnson and Johnson concoction which will join those made available by Pfizer and Moderna.