ALBANY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is preparing a plan so that COVID-19 vaccine distribution rolls out smoothly statewide.
During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, the Governor explained three main challenges health leaders will have to overcome before the vaccine is made public.
First, Cuomo says distribution will be expensive and that states need more funding to do so.
Additionally, he says there will be challenges to administering the vaccine to Black, Brown and poor communities.
“They’re underserved by healthcare facilities. And their rate of skepticism is higher. It’s going to be an expensive effort to outreach to Black, Brown and poor communities,” he said.
The Governor says the third issue is a data share agreement from the federal government about who was vaccinated.
“The data share agreement from the federal government specifically says the states should identify recipients using such identifiers as social security number, driver’s license ID or passport number. These are proxies for citizenship,” explained Cuomo.
Meanwhile, White House Spokesman Michael Bars said, “… such information would only be used to support the unprecedented private-public partnership continuing to harness the full power of the federal government, private sector, military, and scientific community to combat the coronavirus and save lives. A data agreement would request only minimal information and under no circumstances request, require, or otherwise gather or maintain social security numbers, passport numbers, or driver’s license numbers.”
A survey from the Medical Society of the State of New York showed that 80 percent of physicians in the state plan to get a vaccine once it’s widely available, and that “nearly 70% of physicians estimated that at least half of their patients will receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it is widely available.”