New York is expected to receive enough doses of Covid-19 vaccine to begin immunizing 170,000 people by Dec. 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
Mr Cuomo said at a press conference that the first package of vaccines, produced jointly by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, would be distributed to residents of nursing homes and staff working in those facilities. About three weeks later, the companies send the necessary doses of medication to fully vaccinate these recipients.
The second tranche of the vaccines, developed by Moderna Inc., is expected in late December, government officials said. Both Pfizer and Moderna have asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the use of their vaccines, and marketing is subject to that approval.
The initial dose number will not be enough to fully vaccinate 85,000 residents in nursing homes and 130,000 state institutions, officials said. However, the governor said he expects some to refuse to give the vaccine.
Democrat Cuomo said he was following the advice of the federal advisory board, which on Tuesday recommended that health workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to receive the vaccine. The governor said state-based health workers in the state are vaccinated after people living and working in nursing homes.