Relief may be on the way as New York seeks to continue ramping up its COVID-19 vaccination program.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday, Feb. 9 that the state is expecting a 5 percent increase in its supply of the COVID-19 vaccine for at least the next three weeks as the federal government continues increasing production of the vaccination.
The news came less than a week after Cuomo announced that some regions could expand who is eligible to include restaurant workers, taxi drivers, and facilities dedicated to the developmentally disabled.
New York’s weekly supply is now expected to be boosted to approximately 320,000 doses, up from 250,000 early last month, which had been down from 300,000 that was previously distributed weekly during the final weeks of former President Donald Trump’s administration.
“We now have ten million New Yorkers waiting on 300,000 doses" delivered per week, Cuomo said. "A big question on the call with the White House coordinator by the governors is supply, supply, supply.”
Cuomo said that the increase in allocated doses is “not proportionate to the need, but has been helpful.”
During a conference call on Feb. 9, Cuomo said that approximately 10 percent of New Yorkers who are eligible to be vaccinated have received at least the first of two required doses.
“We have the capacity to do much more much faster,” officials said. “We just need the supply.”
The average seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 4.38 percent this week, the lowest number since Dec. 1 last year. There are currently 7,875 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with the virus and there were 138 new virus-related deaths reported on Monday, Feb. 8.
“Our post-holiday surge reduction is continuing," Cuomo said, "and that is the direct result of the toughness of New Yorkers who have sacrificed and done what is needed to beat back this invisible enemy. Our infection rate is the lowest it has been since Dec. 1, so we're back to where we started on the holiday surge.
"Now more than ever, it's critically important we stay united and keep the momentum on our side - especially as new variants of the virus threaten to upend the progress we have made. Simultaneously, we also must continue to get New Yorkers vaccinated as quickly and fairly as possible.”
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