ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says public hospitals are behind on administering coronavirus vaccines, and are giving them until the end of the week to use their remaining inventory, or face up to $100,000 in fines.
According to Cuomo, hospitals have only administered the first dose of 46% of their allocated vaccines on average. The lowest performing hospitals have allocated less than 30% of their allocated doses so far.
"I need those public officials to step in and manage those systems. You have the allocation, we want it in people's arms as soon as possible," said Cuomo. "New York State Department of Health sent out a letter yesterday to all hospitals that said if you don't use the allocation by the end of this week, the allocation you've received, by the end of this week, you can be fined and you won't receive further allocations, we'll use other hospitals who can administer it better."
Moving forward, hospitals must administer all vaccine doses within seven days of receiving them, or Cuomo says they could risk being disqualified from future distribution.
Phase 1A of distribution, which started in December, included the following eligible populations:
- High-risk hospital workers (emergency room workers, ICU staff and Pulmonary Department staff)
- Residents and staff at nursing homes and other congregate care facilities
- Federally qualified health center employees
- EMS workers
- Coroners, medical examiners and certain funeral workers
- Staff and residents at OPWDD, OMH and OASAS facilities
- Urgent care providers
- Individuals administering COVID-19 vaccines, including local health department staff
Starting Monday, Jan. 4, the following others also became eligible to get vaccinated:
- All outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care
- All staff who are in direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff)
- All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, handling COVID-19 specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Doctors who work in private medical practices and their staff
- Doctors who work in hospital-affiliated medical practices and their staff
- Doctors who work in public health clinics and their staff
- Registered Nurses
- Specialty medical practices of all types
- Dentists and orthodontists and their staff
- Psychiatrists and psychologists and their staff
- Physical Therapists and their staff
- Optometrists and their staff
- Pharmacists and pharmacy aides
On Monday, Jan. 11, the following can also start receiving the vaccine:
- Home care workers
- Hospice workers
- Staff of nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities who did not receive COVID vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program
Anyone looking to receive a vaccination must first complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form here.
The state has also set up an online tool to see if you're eligible to receive the vaccine, or to sign up to be notified when you become eligible.