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New York Expects First Coronavirus Vaccine Doses By Dec. 15

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NYC Gov. Andrew Cuomo

NEW YORK, NY – The first delivery of a life-saving, game-changing coronavirus vaccine to New York could be just days away, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

Cuomo said he expects a delivery of coronavirus vaccine doses on Dec. 15, assuming federal government approval of its safety.

“The first vaccine delivery to New York will be 170,000,” Cuomo said.

The delivery will usher in the largest government operation in generations, Cuomo said. He outlined the broad strokes of a vaccination campaign in the state that ultimately will end the coronavirus pandemic, which ravaged New York City in the spring.

Federal officials expect about 40 million doses of two dose coronavirus vaccines to be available nationwide by the end of December. That’s enough to vaccinate 20 million people, or 6 percent of Americans.

The state likely will receive additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine as well as another one from Moderna by the end of December, Cuomo said.

Frontline health care workers and elderly people in long-term care facilities will be the first to receive the vaccine, based on CDC recommendations and state standards, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the federal government so far has provided little to no funding for states to set up vaccination programs. He also noted widespread skepticism over the vaccine’s safety and the need to fairly distribute it to Black, Brown and poor communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“I’m not going to enhance and aggravate the discrimination that has already been manifested by now excluding them, or discriminating against them, in the vaccination process,” he said.

Not only that, the coronavirus is making a holiday season resurgence across the country, state and New York City, Cuomo said.

Coronavirus-related hospitalization in New York City jumped about 120 percent, or 642 patients, in the past three weeks, Cuomo said.

State and local officials need to simultaneously keep the coronavirus from overwhelming hospital while dealing with the first wave of vaccinations, Cuomo said.

Experts predict that if successful, the vaccination program can bring about 75 to 80 percent immunity between June and September, Cuomo said. That would be enough to bring the economy back to “normal,” he said.

“This will be the largest governmental operation undertaken since World War II, in my opinion,” he said.

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