Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the first 170,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to health care workers and some sick residents in New York’s long-term care facilities as soon as Dec. 15.
The anticipated date is just five days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to meet regarding Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine, three weeks after the company filed for it.
The cost to distribute the vaccines would be around $1 billion, said Cuomo, who accused the Trump administration of not helping New York with federal funding.
The state’s economy was crippled by COVID-19, which forced the closure of businesses, halted tourism and killed over 34,600 people — the most of any state in the country in the early months of the pandemic.
Soaring unemployment rates and job loss also have cost billions of dollars in tax revenue too, but Cuomo said Wednesday that between 75% and 85% of the population will need to be vaccinated in order for the state to return to a “normal economy.”
“That is a tremendously high percentage on any level,” the Democrat said, adding that it could take until September to reach that threshold.
The FDA plans to meet on Dec. 17 to discuss an emergency-use authorization request from Moderna for its COVID-19 vaccine.
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