Some Long Island Lawmakers Get Coronavirus Vaccine; Others Defer

Priscila Korb

LONG ISLAND, NY — After the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine were released in New York, many are now patiently waiting their turn to receive it.

Last week, a Port Washington nurse who works at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens became the first American to receive the vaccine.

Long Island is set to receive 26,500 doses this month, and health care workers are first in line to receive the Pfizer-manufactured vaccine. Nursing home residents and staff are the next group in line.

Some local lawmakers — including Reps. Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi and Gregory Meeks and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — have been vaccinated, according to a Newsday report.

However, other local politicians are choosing to wait before getting the vaccine.

Congressman-elect Andrew Garbarino said in a statement he will not get the vaccine until others take it first.

"I do not believe members of Congress should be prioritized over front line workers, and our most vulnerable populations when determining who should receive the vaccine," Garbarino said. "Once those groups have been vaccinated and doctors say it is my turn, I look forward to receiving the vaccine."

Lee Zeldin, who represents New York's 1st Congressional District, echoed that sentiment in a Facebook post, saying the elderly and front-line health care workers should get the vaccine before members of Congress.

"I will be getting the vaccine, but not before we give priority access to those in our community and country who are most vulnerable," he wrote.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference Monday he would take the vaccine himself but didn't want the "flipside" of being told he was taking that vaccination away from an essential worker.

This article originally appeared on the Sayville-Bayport Patch