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COVID-19: Connecticut Vaccinating At Twice New York's Rate As Cuomo Draws Criticism For Rollout

Total number of people initiating vaccination (first dose received) reported by the CDC per 100,000. Photo Credit: CDC
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been criticized for New York's slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo Credit:

Connecticut continues to lead the way in the region for administering the COVID-19 vaccine, getting shots in the arms of residents at a pace twice that of their neighbors in New York.

More than 2 percent of Connecticut’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a total of more than 100,000 shots administered since the rollout began last mont, with hospitals in Connecticut having used approximately 62.1 percent of the vaccinations that have been allocated to the Nutmeg State.

Comparatively, in New York, approximately 350,000 vaccines have been administered, representing approximately 1.5 percent of its population. Hospitals in New York have been sluggish in providing the virus, with less than 50 percent of its allocations being used.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said that all nursing home residents and workers are expected to receive their first dose by the end of the week, while New York is lagging behind and expects to complete that phase by the end of next week.

According to the CDC, a total of 21,419 COVID-19 vaccination doses have been distributed, with 5,919,418 receiving their first dose.

New York has received a total of 1,134,800 allocations, with 353,788 being administered, versus 219,125 doses distributed in Connecticut, with more than 100,000 being used.

In Connecticut, Lamont has been praised for the rollout of the vaccines, which includes less rigid definitions of healthcare workers, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has received some criticism for his strict stance on who receives the vaccine and when.

Experts also noted that in Connecticut, a plan was in place to re-allocate unused doses from the outset of the vaccination plan, while that plan only more recently came together in New York.

Cuomo also came under fire for the rollout of the vaccine, when hospitals were administering less than 15,000 doses daily, though that number jumped to 30,000 earlier this week and reportedly hit 50,000 per day as New York adjusts on the fly.

In his latest COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo said that New York still sought to vaccinate more than two million healthcare workers before moving into the second phase of the vaccination plan, which includes essential workers, first responders, and people over the age of 75.

“Vaccinating hospital staff is vital. They are on the front lines, and everyone talks about nurses and doctors, and we’ve celebrated those nurses and doctors, and they certainly deserve that celebration,” Cuomo said. “We know what they’ve been doing and they deserve more than a celebration, they deserve a vaccination.

“That’s why they deserve to go first, because they’re the frontline workers, and selfishly, if our hospital staff gets sick, it’s going to reduce our hospital capacity.”

Dr. Howard Forman, the director of the Yale School of Public Health Care Mare Management Program made note that Connecticut is allowing healthcare facilities to determine who qualifies for the virus, while Cuomo and New York set the guidelines, and threatened fines of up to $1 million if hospitals administered vaccines out of order.

“If you look at New York, it's far more prescriptive as to who is a health care worker and who is a frontline and who is a patient-facing health care worker,” he said in Medium.

“I think our hospitals and health care systems have it in their interest to vaccinate health care workers and frontline health care workers first, but you also want to make sure that if you have doses around, that you are getting them out there as quickly as possible.”

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