Thousands of allocations of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are coming to Long Island - possibly as soon as this weekend - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, Dec. 9.
On Long Island, 26,500 allocations have been designated from the state’s initial 170,000 vaccinations that are being shipped out from the Hudson Valley-based pharmaceutical company.
Each of the state’s 10 regions received varying allocations, depending on the population in that area. Only New York City’s 72,000 allocations are higher statewide.
“This is a massive undertaking,” Cuomo said. “People have not focused enough on the extent of what this undertaking means. I can’t think of a single governmental operation that has been more intricate and essential than what governments will be asked to do here.
“The scale of vaccinating every person in your state is just massive.”
Cuomo said that the federal government will be responsible for the procurement and distribution of the vaccines - provided it is approved by the FDA, as expected, on Thursday, Dec. 10.
To assuage any concerns for those reluctant to get the vaccine, Cuomo said that a special advisory board has been specifically tasked with ensuring it is both safe and effective.
“I think the NY Panel as a second panel to approve (the vaccine) will go a long way toward battling skepticism,” he said. “It could arrive as soon s this weekend, assuming the FDA does act right away and approves it, the military ships it, and the panel approves it.”
Following the initial distribution of 170,000 doses, which have been earmarked for nursing home residents and employees, as well as high-risk first responders and healthcare workers, the second shipment of 170,000 will be sent out to administer the second dose 21 days later.
“New York has been very good at scaling up and tackling challenges during COVID, such as testing, but this is going to test the capacity all across the board,” Cuomo added. “We have to get to between 75 and 85 percent of people vaccinated for it to hit critical mass, but it’s important to remember ‘this is the weapon that will win the war.’”
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