Fed’s vaccination plan would leave out vulnerable groups, governor says

Fed’s vaccination plan would leave out vulnerable groups, governor says
New York Coronavirus (Source: MGN)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - While a COVID-19 vaccine is “the light at the end of the tunnel,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the federal government’s plan for distributing it has major flaws.

During a teleconference Tuesday, the governor said the Trump administration’s plan would leave out large chunks of the population.

“The vaccination program only works if you have a very high percentage of participation,” he said, “and with this plan, you are eliminating and dissuading groups from participating.”

He said the plan doesn’t include outreach to black, brown, and poor communities, which are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 because of the lack of available health care.

The governor also said the plan discourages undocumented people from getting vaccinated, because states would be forced to collect data that could identify them as non-citizens, such as driver’s license, passport, and Social Security numbers.

He also said the federal government is not providing any money for vaccinations.

In the meantime, “the numbers are up,” the governor said, and he expects them to continue to go up through the holiday season and into mid-January.

Including the targeted micro-clusters, the state’s infection rate is 4.9 percent. Without them, it’s 4.4 percent.

Inside the clusters, the rate is 6.2 percent. Western New York’s rate is 7.2 percent, the highest in the state.

The north country’s rate is 2.8 percent.

Sixty-six people died from COVID-19 on Monday. Hospitalizations increased by 242 to 3,774, intensive care admission went up 37 to 718, and the number of people on ventilators increased by 23 to 348.

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