Gov. Cuomo lays out massive COVID-19 vaccination plan across New York

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New York is planning to set up “mass vaccination sites’’ once COVID-19 vaccines become available through the federal government and vetted by an independent state panel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

The governor — in rolling out a statewide vaccine-distribution strategy — said the effort would be the largest that New York has undertaken since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

“How do you administer 40 million vaccines to the state of New York? That is the trick,’’ Cuomo said at a press briefing.

He said so many doses are needed because there are 20 million state residents, and “most of the vaccines they’re talking about require two doses’’ three to four weeks apart.

The governor said hospitals, urgent-care centers, primary-care locations, pharmacies and state Health Department offices are among the sites being considered for vaccine distribution.

He said the first round of doses would go to both those people most at risk for COVID-19 and front-line healthcare workers in hot spots.

The next round would be extended to those two groups statewide, and after that, everyone in areas with the highest rates of infection, followed by the rest of the population.

Still, he noted what he described as significant obstacles: getting the vaccines from the federal government, having them approved by his independent medical advisory panel, ensuring people trust the vaccines enough to get them, much less both doses — and even finding the proper sites to keep the medicine.

“Storage of the vaccines will have to be minus 80 degrees,’’ Cuomo said. “There is a question of how many refrigeration units would be available to do that.’’

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