New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo said residents of nursing homes on Wednesday will receive the next 80,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as the state worries about the health of its most vulnerable residents.
So far, according to Cuomo, about 4,000 of the 87,000 doses of vaccine the state has received from Pfizer and BioNTech have been administered, mostly to health and frontline workers earlier this week.
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But elderly residents in long-term care facilities are likely to receive their first dose, which “arrives in the next few days,” and will be administered by CVS and Walgreen pharmacies starting Monday.
Because many nursing homes do not have refrigerated storage for vaccines, pharmacists bring batches of COVID-19 vaccine into facilities in stages, said Michael Balboni, president of the New York Health Services Association, according to the NY Post, home to 235 nursing homes in and around New York City.
In total, there are roughly 135,000 employees and 85,000 residents in a nursing home for a total of 210,000 potential patients.
We are focusing on nursing homes as the Cuomo remains at a disadvantage due to the outbreak of coronavirus cases that previously infected thousands of elderly patients in care facilities during the pandemic.
In March, the Democratic governor in the Empire State ordered nursing homes to admit patients who had COVID-19 or were suspected.
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On December 7, the non-profit long-term care community coalition reported 7,147 COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and adult care facilities.
Cuomo defended the nursing home policy in accordance with the instructions of the then Trump administration.
New York continued to tighten coronavir restrictions in the state and closed New York City’s indoor dining options before the holidays, causing envy of restaurant owners, many of whom claim their business is in danger of collapsing due to the recent closure.
Cuomo said up to 85% of the country’s population would need the vaccine to be effective, but it will take months for the general public to see enough stock to accommodate it.
The state expects to deliver additional vaccines from Moderna, which could serve 346,000 people.
Cuomo said Wednesday: “No one in New York State pays a penny or a vaccine.”
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According to him, insurers cover all costs related to the COVID-19 combat cocktail – the reminder says it is issued by the Ministry of Public Financial Services.