NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The CDC says New York state has distributed far less of the COVID vaccine than the state says it has, according to a report.
While the state says it has distributed about 74% of the doses that have been delivered, the CDC says the state has only distributed 37% of the 1.9 million doses received as of Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The CDC’s percentage would put New York on par with Ohio and Pennsylvania, but behind other large states like Florida and Texas, as well as Connecticut, which the CDC says has used 51% of its doses.
County executives said some problems were caused by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who they said bypassed local health departments and instead put major hospitals in charge of early distribution, according to the report.
Cuomo implemented strict rules on eligibility based on CDC guidelines but relented on Jan. 8 under pressure from Mayor Bill de Blasio and other local officials. Over 7 million people are now eligible in the state after eligibility was expanded to include first responders, essential workers and people over 65 this past week.
A state official noted that the CDC figures included vaccinations given at nursing homes through a federal program.
And Cuomo’s senior adviser Rich Azzopardi told the Journal that the state had followed CDC recommendations, focusing on front-line health workers early on.
“We knew there was going to be a time very soon when we had the capability to deliver more shots than we had doses. It’s better to put that apparatus in place,” Azzopardi said. “Everyone should put their ego aside and work together.”
In a press release Saturday, Cuomo said that New York’s health care distribution sites had administered 83% of the doses the state had received from the federal government and that an additional 73,336 doses had been administered in the past 24 hours alone.
On Friday, Cuomo said the number of doses the state was receiving from the federal government would drop next week from 300,000 to 250,000.
“We are in a footrace to get the vaccine into the arms of eligible New Yorkers as quickly and equitably as possible,” Cuomo said Saturday in a statement. “However, we now have 7 million New Yorkers vying for a fraction of doses made available to use by the federal government. We need Washington to step up and increase New York’s supply to make sure everyone who wants the vaccine has the opportunity to get it.”