Cuomo says New York days away from exhausting vaccine supply

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Shannon Young
·2 min read
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New York expects to run out of Covid-19 vaccines soon as it rushes to inoculate the 7 million state residents now eligible for the shot, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

Key details: Cuomo said the state is dealing with a shortage on a week-to-week basis and expects to “see a constant pattern of basically running out, waiting for the next week’s allocation and then starting up again” — a scenario which New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned of earlier this week.

“At this rate, we’re going to be out in two days,” he said during an afternoon briefing. “We’re going to have to start moving the next allocation quickly.”

The governor urged President Joe Biden to “do whatever he can to increase the supply,” noting that Pfizer and Moderna are unable to sell Covid-19 vaccine doses directly to New York and other states.

By the numbers: New York reported a total of 145,780 first doses remaining on hand as of Wednesday afternoon. With the state administering an average of about 65,000 doses daily, Cuomo cautioned that it’s on pace to exhaust the current supply within a few days.

State health officials reported that 907,870 first doses and 92,904 second doses had been administered as of Wednesday afternoon. New York has received more than 1 million first doses and 136,500 second doses.

He noted that New York will receive another 250,400 doses next week, down from the 300,000-plus it was allotted at the beginning of the vaccine's rollout. If that allocation rate continues, Cuomo said, it could take New York up to seven months just to vaccinate the health care providers, essential workers and older New Yorkers currently eligible to receive it.

What’s next: The governor has asked the state’s 1,200 vaccine distributors to not schedule appointments unless they have a definitive allocation of doses to prevent cancellations. He further called on local health departments, hospitals and other providers to administer their remaining doses fairly across the three current prioritization groups, based on the percentages of people still needing vaccines in each category.

“Theoretically and ideally, if you had 100 vaccines and they said, ‘How do you distribute those 100 vaccines fairly among these eligible individuals?’ You would say: 21 percent go to health care workers, 27 percent go to essential workers and 52 percent go to 65-plus,” he said. “That would be fair among those eligible people. And that’s what we’re trying to do to the extent practicable."