Last month, Gov. Cuomo unveiled a statewide COVID-19 vaccination strategy for delivering a safe and effective vaccine once it is approved. Successfully administering vaccines to 20 million New York residents is going to be a massive undertaking, requiring the partnership and collaboration of state and local health departments, pharmacies, hospitals and community health centers.
The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) is preparing for the vaccine when it's approved.
More than 2,000 independent pharmacies across the state have been a critical part of New York’s battle against COVID-19, and many will be mobilized as immunization partners under phase 1 of Governor Cuomo’s plan.
Chairman of the board for PSSNY, Steve Moore, says they are confident in the vaccines themselves and their ability to provide them.
"We're encouraged, very encouraged by what we're hearing about the vaccines," Moore said. "First of all, you start with the Pfizer data, more than 90% effective and then you have the other one coming out today, Moderna that is almost 95% effective. These are new types of vaccines, the way that they've been made, this will be the first time this type of vaccine will come to market so if bodes very well for our future if we can do this, if we can pull this off. I am fully confident in the infrastructure that the pharmacies have in place and our ability to provide these immunizations."
Moore says these vaccines will roll out in phases and be prioritized by population. Health care workers and first responders will be first, followed by high-risk patients such as those in nursing homes, and then the general public.