ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - If all goes according to schedule, New York could start getting its first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine this weekend.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined the state’s vaccine distribution plan during a Zoom news conference from Albany Wednesday.
“It could arrive as soon as this weekend,” he said, with more allocations in the following weeks.
He said if the FDA approves a Pfizer vaccine as expected Thursday, a state-picked panel of experts will immediately review the data.
If the vaccine gets the green light, the military and private shippers will distribute vaccines to the states.
New York is set to receive 170,000 doses, with the north country receiving 3,700 of them.
Those first doses will go to nursing home residents and staff and then to the most at risk of the state’s 700,000 health care workers, primarily those who directly treat COVID-19 patients.
“By the end of week two, if all goes well and the federal government sticks to the schedule, we expect all high-risk staff will receive the vaccination,” the governor said.
After that, the governor said, “we’ll then move to all long-term congregate care staff and residents, then EMS and other health care workers, and then essential workers, general population, starting with those who have the highest risk.”
The governor said the state has set up 90 regional distribution centers capable of the cold storage the Pfizer vaccine needs to stay viable.
Everyone who receives the Pfizer vaccine needs to receive two doses.