Local leaders are pleased more COVID vaccine is headed to north country

WWNY Local leaders are pleased more COVID vaccine is headed to north country

NEW YORK - The state will be getting more COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government than it expected even a day ago.

At a news conference in New York City Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said White House officials told governors that morning that the increase in allocations -- announced at 16 percent last week -- is now 20 percent.

“If you remember, the federal government increased the supply to the state -- what we call the state allocation -- 16 percent last week and they said that 16 precent would continue for three weeks,” he said. “The increase is now going to go from 16 to about 20 percent as a direct allocation,” he said

And that increase will be passed on to local governments, “so they can count on an additional 20 percent in the coming weeks,” he said.

Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray says the region will receive an additional 1,000 doses in this rollout.

“Every move in that direction helps and that’s all we can ask for,” he said.

On top of that, Cuomo said, private pharmacies will receive an additional 30,000 doses directly from the federal government.

Along with the increases, the governor said the state is giving local governments some flexibility in who gets vaccinated.

He said they have the option of opening up Phase 1B eligibility to taxi drivers, restaurant workers, and people who work at facilities for the developmentally disabled.

However, Gray says the county may not be there yet.

“It will be really dependent upon where we stand with the 65 and up population. We really have to get those addressed and move forward. They are the most vulnerable so we want to make sure to do a deep penetration on that before we move on to the next one,” he said.

Gray says he hopes some of the progress will be made this week as the local mass vaccination site gets started at Jefferson Community College.

“It will be cleaning up people that are already in the queue and then we will start fresh with a registration process in the very near future,” said Gray.

Cuomo said the increases help, but don’t solve the state’s supply problems.

He said about 2 million of the eligible 7.1 million New Yorkers have been vaccinated, but at a little more than 300,000 doses a week, getting the rest done will take a long time.

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