Shocking Reversal: Cuomo Makes New Yorkers Eligible For Vaccine
In just one day, Gov. Cuomo changed his mind and is now making more New Yorkers eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
On Tuesday, following a call with the White House, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the federal supply of COVID-19 vaccines will increase 20 percent for the next three weeks, up from the initial 16 percent bump.
Private pharmacies in the state who are charged with prioritizing the 65-plus population will now receive an additional 10 percent, or about 30,000 doses, directly from the federal government to supplement the doses allocated to them by the state.
Given the overall increase to the state's supply, the governor is now allowing local governments the flexibility to add restaurant workers, taxi drivers and developmentally disabled facilities to the 1B vaccine prioritization group, Cuomo added.
"We're in a footrace to vaccinate the entire eligible population while continuing to keep the infection rate low," Cuomo stated. "We're moving heaven and earth to administer as many doses as possible, but on a global level we are experiencing high demand and scarce amounts of the vaccine. We have much more distribution in place than we have supply, and as soon as we have more doses from the federal government we can get those shots in the arms of New Yorkers as quickly and fairly, while continuing to make sure the communities hardest hit have access to and trust in the vaccine. In the meantime, I urge New Yorkers to be smart and take measures we know work to keep the infection rate low - wear a mask, wash your hands and socially distance."
Cuomo's announcement that restaurant workers are now eligible to receive the vaccine came as a surprise. Just one day prior, Cuomo said he wasn't going to allow restaurant workers across to cut the vaccination line because the state doesn't have enough vaccines for the over 7 million New Yorkers who are currently eligible.
“Yes, I would like to see restaurant workers eligible," Cuomo said during a press conference. "But what does eligibility mean when you don’t have enough?”
Approximately 7.1 million New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. The federal government has increased the weekly supply by 20 percent over the next three weeks, but New York's vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government, officials say. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.