Cuomo: NY expected to receive first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he expects New York to receive the first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December once it is approved by federal regulators.

"We expect if all safety and efficacy approvals are granted, those doses will arrive on Dec. 15," Cuomo said.

The state will initially receive enough doses to vaccinate 170,000 New York residents.

"The federal government distributes the vaccine by percentage of population of that state so state's population divided by available dosages is what the state gets," Cuomo said. "There's no discretion in how much the state gets, it's purely a percent of population."

Cuomo said health care workers and long-term care facility residents will be the first to receive the vaccine, as per the CDC's recommendation.

The first shipment by Pfizer won't be able to cover the 210,000 staffers and residents at nursing homes, but that will be supplemented with an additional vaccine delivery from Moderna.

"In two weeks we're suppose to get a Moderna shipment which will be at least the 40,000, so between the 170 and the Moderna we would cover the entire nursing home," Cuomo said.

More doses are expected from both companies at the end of the month, and after that, Cuomo said the supply stream should be steady.

"And then they say there will be a constant every 7-10 days another shipment, another shipment, another shipment, so it will be on a rolling basis," Cuomo said.

Nearly 9,000 positive coronavirus cases were reported in New York on Tuesday.