NY vaccine demand outpaces supply

Emily Burkhard & WNYT Staff
Updated: January 23, 2021 03:01 PM
Created: January 22, 2021 06:19 PM

ALBANY - On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York state is out of Covid-19 vaccines.

Another shipment is on the way, but he said it won't last long. He's now calling on President Joe Biden for help.

Cuomo said he tried to get more vaccines directly from Pfizer and Moderna, but was told that's not allowed.

He’s calling on the Biden administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase supply.

"We should've done it a year ago but increase production because that is the bottleneck right now,” he said.

As of Friday afternoon, there were 28,000 vaccine doses left in the state. Providers are administering about 80,000 doses per day, so that's now long gone.

The week 6 allocation is being delivered now, but there are only 250,000 doses in that shipment.

He said at the rate we're going now, it will take seven and a half months to complete vaccinations for people who are already eligible.

Cuomo also addressed Biden's plan to do 100 million vaccinations in 100 days.

"New York State is about six percent of the population,” he said. “That means we would get around 60,000 doses per day that means we get 420,000 doses per week. That is higher than we are now."

but even then, it would take 17 weeks to vaccinate those people already who are eligible.

Another concern, the state now has over two dozen known cases of the u-k variant, which is much more transmissible.

Case numbers exploding could derail vaccine efforts. Especially considering only 67 percent of staff hospital statewide have been vaccinated.

"The hospital workers are the people who if they get sick the hospital capacity will collapse, hospital capacity collapses we have to close the economy,” Cuomo said.

That's why vaccines coming in now will be prioritized into three groups based on eligible populations in each region.

"So we distribute 21 percent of that regions allocation to healthcare workers. Essential workers are about 27 percent so will allocate 27 percent of that regions allocation to essential workers,” Cuomo said. "No one is happy everybody wants more what are you do? You just be as fair as you can possibly be with the allocation you have."


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