ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Local governments can plan on a 16 percent increase in their COVID-19 vaccine deliveries from the state for the next three weeks.
That’s because the Biden administration on Tuesday guaranteed that number of doses to the state.
“It has been very difficult to plan up to now,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a virtual news conference Wednesday, because the state didn’t know how much vaccine it would receive week to week.
“So, now at least we can come up with a three-week plan,” he said.
That ability to plan is being passed along to local governments.
“I can turn around and say to local governments ‘you have 16 percent more for the next three weeks. Plan on it and schedule appointments for it,’” he said.
The state received 300,000 doses the week vaccinations started. That was reduced by the Trump administration to about 250,000 doses each week since.
The 16 percent increase, Cuomo said, would bring New York’s allocation up to about 300,000.
Even with the extra vaccine, he said, it will still take about 21 weeks to inoculate the 7 million people who are now eligible, including health care workers, essential workers, and people over 65 years old.
“The 16 percent increase does not solve the fundamental anxiety that has been created here” when millions of people were told they were eligible for a vaccine many couldn’t get.
“So, they go to websites, they make calls all day trying to get an appointment for a vaccination, but there is no supply for the 7 million,” he said.
“Even when you increase the 250 to 300 with this 16 percent, you are still talking about multiple weeks before we can cover just the existing eligible population,” Cuomo said.