ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Nearly 40 percent of New York’s frontline health care workers haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 more than three weeks after the first doses arrived in the state.
“If you’re not vaccinating the nurses and the doctors, then they get sick,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “If they have the infection, they’re a super-spreader.”
The governor said 60.8 percent of hospital workers have been vaccinated, not nearly enough to reach the 70- to 80-percent vaccination rate the state needs for herd immunity.
The numbers don’t look as bad in the seven-county region the state designates as the north country.
Here, 70 percent of hospital personnel have been vaccinated. The percentages range from 78 percent to 50 percent. About 21 percent have declined a vaccination.
Statewide, the numbers range from nearly 100 percent in some hospitals to one as low as 23 percent.
About 74 percent of the state’s vaccination supply has gone into New Yorker’s arms, the governor said.
In the north country region, that number is 90 percent.
One reason it’s so high may be because the supply has been low.
Cuomo said the state had been receiving about 300,000 doses a week and the federal government promised to increase the supply.
Instead, he said, the state received 250,000 doses this week. That’s as the number of eligible New Yorkers jumped to 7 million.
“So, there was no increase in supply and, in the meantime, there was a dramatic increase in eligibility,” he said.
And that “was like opening the floodgates of eligibility,” he said.
“And that flood has to go through a syringe,” he said. “All this volume and it has to go through the point of a needle – literally and figuratively.”