Cuomo blames feds for counties’ short vaccine supply

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 11:34 AM EST
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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - With counties frustrated over how much vaccine they’re receiving, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is echoing their sentiments, but aimed at the federal government.

Cuomo says New York gets a certain number of vaccines each week from the federal government, then based on population, “Every region gets their population allocation.”

Each region’s allocation then gets broken down based on who is eligible to get the shot.

How it’s supposed to be set up is 21 percent of shots go to health care workers, 27 percent to essential workers, and the remaining 52 percent for people 65 and older.

Each of those groups is supposed to be receiving the vaccine from a specific provider.

“Hospitals are doing the health care workers, county government is supposed to be doing the essential workers, the pharmacies and mass vaccination sites are doing the 65-plus,” Cuomo said. “That’s the allocation.”

Cuomo says if there’s a breakdown in that plan, it can throw off the state’s formula.

“If a local health department receives an allocation, which is calibrated to their number of essential workers, but they give it to people who are 65-plus, then the essential workers are going to have less of an allocation.”

The governor says there are more than enough places to administer vaccines, but right now, there’s one big problem.

“We don’t have enough supply,” he said. “We don’t.”

Cuomo says there are 7.1 million people who need to get vaccinated in phases 1a and 1b.

On average, the state has been receiving a little bit more than 250,000 vaccine doses a week from the federal government.

To vaccinate everyone currently eligible, Cuomo says it could take more than half a year.

“The best we can do is be fair to everyone,” he said, “and that’s what we are trying to do.”

Cuomo says he is urging the Biden administration to do whatever they can to get more vaccines to New York state.

“When we get the supply, we will be able to move the supply,” he said.

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