Cuomo: NY will use up COVID-19 vaccine supply Friday, 3 new cases of UK strain confirmed

ALBANY (WBEN) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said the state will officially use up the entirety of its first dose vaccine allocation by the end of the day.

Of the doses provided to the state of New York during the first five weeks of the vaccination program, just 28,246 remain – and those will be used up by the end of Friday as the state is currently averaging around 80,000 per day.

“We are now operating on a week-to-week basis,” Cuomo said. “We will, today, fully utilize all of the dosages that have been delivered.”

New York has administered 1,329,237 doses to date, with 1,159,869 of those being first doses and 169,368 being second doses. The governor notes there is still enough vaccines for those who need their second dose.

While Week 6’s allocations are arriving to the state, Cuomo says New York is still in a footrace against the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Plus, the governor is still worried about the rising number of UK strain cases as the state reported two more in Westchester County and one in Brooklyn – bringing the statewide total to 25.

Cuomo continues to stress that the best way to prevent New York from becoming overwhelmed by the UK strain is by vaccinating everyone who is eligible.

“We’re in a war with COVID, it’s a fluid situation,” the governor said. “In war, when the enemy moves, you move. They try a new tactic, you try a new tactic.”

At his daily press conference on Friday, Cuomo praised President Joe Biden for already taking steps to combat the coronavirus pandemic, including utilizing the Defense Protection Act and issuing a nationwide mask mandate.

“Congratulations on implementing common sense,” the governor told the federal government, saying the steps were “long, long overdue.”

The governor noted that the Trump administration had created “chaos and confusion” in its vaccination plan, especially when they recommended that adults over the age of 65 be eligible for the vaccine.

However, there are some states – such as Connecticut – that are not following that advice and are instead capping eligibility at age 75 or older.

Though, Gov. Cuomo tells WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell that if New York had done the same, it would have created even more confusion and anger.

“A lot of people think what the federal government says has wisdom behind it and when the federal government said ‘65+,’ the entire community of 65+ said ‘Great, I’m now eligible,’” the governor said. “And it’s a tough balance – all of this is a tough balance – but I did not want to frighten the 65-year-olds, by saying ‘Even though you are eligible by the federal government, we’re not going to make you eligible here in New York.’”

He stressed that, when he opened eligibility to 65-year-olds, he said that would mean 7 million people in the state of New York were eligible for the vaccine and the state is only getting around 300,000 vaccine doses per week.

Until the federal government is able to ramp up production of the vaccine, it will continue to take weeks for the state to get through the 1A and 1B categories, Cuomo said.

President Biden said he is aiming for 100 million doses to be administered in 100 days. If New York receives enough allocations to hit its share of that target, it would take the state 17 weeks to reach critical mass, the governor said.