New York is out of vaccines

On the day state vaccinations ran out, Gov. Cuomo reported that Covid-19 hospitalizations were going down but that the average positivity rate was creeping toward 6 percent.

New York will be out of vaccines by the end of the day. Gov. Cuomo said they may even already be gone. 

“We have 28,000 dosages in the state, if you add up all the dosages that are not in arms,” the governor said at his Jan. 22 press briefing. “The problem is we administer 80,000 dosages per day, so 28,000 does not get you through the day.”

The shortage caused appointment cancellations throughout the entire state, including 23,000 in New York City. Cuomo placed the blame on the federal government, specifically the Trump administration, for increasing vaccination eligibility but not increasing production. As of Friday morning, the state had used 97 percent of its dosages.

Rather than waiting for federal reserves to arrive in the state, Cuomo attempted to purchase dosages directly from Pfizer, but revealed Friday that it would not be possible.

“Pfizer and Moderna are operating under an emergency federal authorization use,” he explained. “It does not allow them to sell it so they cannot sell it to the state of New York.”

The governor is hopeful that the Biden administration will be more diligent in providing states with proper vaccination allocations — as part of his Presidential Rescue Plan, Biden will designate $350 billion emergency funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments to aid vaccine distribution, school reopenings and other functions. Cuomo expects New York State to receive $15 billion.

The president also introduced a plan to administer 100 million vaccinations in 100 days. The White House did not immediately comment on the percentage of doses that will be allocated for New York when asked by the Chronicle.

As of Jan. 21, about 495,300 city residents have been vaccinated, 14 percent of whom have received both doses. 

Mayor de Blasio, who also blames the federal government for the dosage shortfalls, suggested giving the reserved second doses the city has on hand to vulnerable populations who haven’t received their first. As time goes on, the mayor said, the city could backfill the supply.

“We obviously need a much bigger solution. How can we say teachers, cops, firefighters, senior citizens, you just have to wait?” the mayor said Jan. 21 on CNN’s “Outfront with Erin Burnett.”

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