Dec. 2, 2020 By Allie Griffin
New York will receive its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccination by mid-December, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
New York State is expected to receive 170,000 doses of the vaccine — developed by Pfizer — from the federal government by Dec. 15, Cuomo said.
“We expect, if all safety and efficacy approvals are granted, those doses will arrive on December 15,” he said at an Albany press conference.
The first batch of vaccinations — once federally approved — will be given to nursing home residents and staff.
The vaccine is 95 percent effective, Pfizer reported.
Each person who receives the coronavirus vaccination will need two shots. Three weeks after the first Pfizer shipment, New York will receive another 170,000 doses that will be given to the same people as their second shot, Cuomo said.
A shipment of the competing Moderna vaccination — which is reportedly 94.5 percent effective — is expected later this month. The number of doses included in that shipment to New York is still unknown.
Nursing home residents and staff — a combined 210,000 people across New York — will also be prioritized for the Moderna vaccine.
Cuomo said the first shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be enough to vaccinate nearly all of the state’s nursing home population, including staff — given that some people will refuse to get the shot.
The state is following CDC guidelines on how to prioritize the coronavirus vaccine distribution, he added.
Elderly people, like those in nursing homes, are at a higher risk of complications and death from COVID-19.
In fact, those 65 and older were urged to stay home except for medical and essential reasons in an advisory the NYC Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi issued on Tuesday. The advisory also applies to those with underlying health conditions.
The next batch of coronavirus vaccinations will go to healthcare workers, specifically those who work in the emergency room and intensive care units, Cuomo said.