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Cuomo announces vax distribution plan; vaccinations just beginning in Greene, Columbia cos.

Jan 06, 2021 6:00 am

Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Tue., Jan. 5, detailed plans for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to the general public. Nearly 3,800 sites, from pharmacy chains to urgent care centers, as well as drive-through vaccine locations at public college and university campuses similar to the testing program currently in place statewide will be pressed into operation. At the same time, police, fire and transit agencies, as well as teachers unions, are being asked to "operationalize" their own vaccine distribution for their workers. The distribution effort is expected to be a massive undertaking, with more than 19 million New Yorkers receiving potentially two doses in most cases. The vaccine distribution rollout has stalled in New York and across the country, with the goal of 20 million doses by the end of the year falling far short. So far, New York is receiving about 300,000 doses of the vaccine a week. Of the thousands of provider sites identified by the state for vaccine distribution, 636 sites have access to the vaccine now. "We've signed up hundreds in every region in the state," Cuomo said. There are 845 signed up distribution centers in New York City. Statewide, the vaccination of residents and staff at nursing homes is expected to be completed this week, which was part of a federal program that used retail pharmacy chains to administer the doses. Cuomo this week also sought to push hospitals to accelerate the administration of vaccine doses or face fines. Natasha Vaughn and Sarah Trafton are reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Columbia County administered its first round of vaccines January 2, and Greene County received its first shipment of vaccines January 5, with plans to vaccinate later this week. Those eligible for vaccination in Phase 1A are residents and staff at nursing homes and other congregate-care facilities; high-risk hospital workers; federally qualified health care employees; emergency medical services workers; coroners, medical examiners and certain funeral workers; staff and residents at the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health and Office of Addiction Services and Support facilities; urgent care providers and people who are administering COVID-19 vaccines. Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb estimates the county may be able to get into the next category of vaccine recipients by the end of January.