54% of New York State’s COVID-19 Vaccines are Unused
While people are anxiously awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine, over half of New York Sate's supply is sitting unused.
Bloomberg reports that more than half of the COVID-19 vaccines received in New York State are currently unused. This comes as hospitals have been slow to administer vaccines to staff. There are 194 public and private hospitals in New York State. Not all hospitals are at fault though. Some hospitals have almost administered all of their vaccines while others have given out only 15%. Bloomberg reports that New York City public hospitals have only administered 31% of their allocated COVID-19 vaccines.
In a briefing on Monday, January 4, 2021, Governor Cuomo said, "I need those public officials to step in and manage those systems. You have the allocation, we want it in people’s arms as soon as possible," according to Bloomberg.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a goal of administering 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the month of January. According to Bloomberg, New York City plans to double the number of vaccination sites. Currently, there are 125 vaccination sites in New York City. Doubling it would bring it up to 250. Mayor de Blasio says in order to double the number of testing sites, there needs to be coordination with the federal and state governments, as well as the vaccine manufacturers.
Besides hospitals not rolling out the vaccine fast enough, people are refusing the vaccine. According to Bloomberg, 10% of nursing home residents and 15% of nursing home staff in New York State have refused to get the vaccine. The number of hospital workers who have refused the vaccine is currently unclear. Roughly 300,000 New Yorkers have gotten the first dose of the vaccine.
In an effort to force hospitals to distribute the vaccine faster, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has threatened hospitals with fines. Bloomberg reports that Gov. Cuomo has threatened hospitals with fines as high as $100,000 if the vaccines are not administered within a week of getting them.