New York is ramping up its rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine as more allocations of doses are expected to be distributed when President-elect Joe Biden takes office next week.
This week, the state began opening up its mass vaccination sites to eligible New Yorkers, though due to the limited doses, some appointments are being scheduled weeks in advance.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the federal government is currently providing approximately 300,000 doses of the vaccine each week, though there are currently more than seven million New Yorkers eligible to receive it.
At the current rate, it would take months to vaccinate all those eligible in what has been designated “phase 1B.”
The governor said that “due to the federal government's limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly. Please call your local health department, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments.”
Mass vaccination sites have already been set up at The Javits Center, Westchester County Center, and New York State Fair Expo Center, with sites at Jones Beach and SUNY Albany, set to open by week's end.
"Our singular focus is getting shots into arms and with the opening of these state-run sites today, we are doing just that," Cuomo said. "We are making the vaccine available based on federal guidance and are continuing to push it out the door quickly and efficiently, but due to the federal government's limited allocation, appointments are filling up fast.”
Vaccinations are by appointment only, and to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment to receive the first dose, one can use the state’s “Am I Eligible” app, or call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS4VAX (1-833-697-4829.)
After receiving the first dose of the vaccine, appointments to receive the second dose will be scheduled in-person at the vaccination site.
“At the end of the day, this is a supply issue,” Cuomo added. “And we need the federal government to provide us with more vaccine as quickly as possible because there is simply not enough and this is the weapon that will win the war."
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