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Picente urges Cuomo to update vaccine distribution plan to reach more people faster

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Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make adjustments the state vaccine distribution plans, to reach more people as soon as possible.

Posted: Jan 6, 2021 1:00 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2021 1:06 PM

UTICA, N.Y. – Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make adjustments the state vaccine distribution plans, to reach more people as soon as possible.

Picente sent a letter to the governor Wednesday, listing his suggested changes to the vaccination strategies already set out by the state health department. He says the current plan is confusing, and the county is willing to work with the state to streamline the process.

“First, Oneida County and all counties stand ready to work hand-in-glove with the State of New York and all its pertinent agencies, hospitals, pharmacies, local doctor offices, schools and others who are in a position to administer this vaccine,” Picente wrote in the letter. “I respectfully request you consider strengthening these partnerships instead of threatening fines and other punitive measures against the very people who are trying to help end this virus.”

On Monday, Cuomo said hospitals could face fines of up to $100,000 if they did not administer all current vaccine doses by the end of the week. By Wednesday, Jan. 6, Cuomo said hospitals had tripled daily vaccination rates from just under 11,000 per day to just over 31,000 per day over the past two days.

Picente also implores Cuomo to expand the list of people eligible to receive the vaccine to those listed in Phase 1A and Phase 1B.

“Second, and most importantly it is imperative that you widen the phases for recipients even further. It is an unconscionable result of the current rollout that vaccines are sitting dormant instead of being placed in vulnerable people’s arms,” the letter reads. “I respectfully request you immediately move to your outlined Phase 1B which would include, in addition to everyone in Phase 1A, a wide variety of people including law enforcement and other first responders, teachers, 911 dispatchers and most importantly, people over the age of 75. This would allow those who need the vaccine the most to be able to get it.”

Currently Phase 1A includes all frontline health care workers, nursing home residents, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, and other high-risk medical workers.

Picente also cited the lack of information from the state level as a source of confusion for the local community. He asks the governor to provide more specific information, so the county and local health departments can relay them to the public.

“Specifically, we need to know how many doses the federal government or the developer has delivered to New York State, how many have been distributed in Oneida County and how many remain unused,” Picente said in the letter. “This information is essential to informing the public but also making the proper decisions necessary to distribute this vaccine.”

During a news briefing on Wednesday, Cuomo said New York has receive 950,000 doses for the 2.1 million people included in Phase 1A.

According to Cuomo, the state is working on a vaccine education plan to be released when the general public start receiving vaccines, which is projected to start in March or April.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1279811

Reported Deaths: 41587
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1600187889
Kings1568738092
Suffolk1298042624
Nassau1160652581
Bronx1069555302
Westchester857231819
New York765463456
Erie524731390
Richmond455161388
Monroe44631780
Rockland32137817
Orange29078656
Onondaga27948535
Oneida16976352
Dutchess16963322
Albany16521260
Niagara12229248
Broome11255260
Saratoga937583
Schenectady8770128
Ulster7822196
Rensselaer6965106
Putnam657675
Chautauqua566064
Chemung5643108
Oswego496169
Ontario477082
Steuben4632131
Cayuga447471
Sullivan388749
Wayne372254
Genesee3689100
St. Lawrence368563
Herkimer368259
Cattaraugus342761
Jefferson327224
Madison317376
Livingston273742
Tompkins270724
Cortland266854
Columbia252472
Allegany237575
Montgomery226575
Tioga222854
Wyoming221244
Clinton220918
Fulton214053
Warren211942
Greene207860
Orleans194569
Chenango179544
Otsego173823
Washington154224
Lewis154024
Seneca123946
Franklin11649
Delaware102923
Essex98819
Schoharie9145
Yates83519
Schuyler72410
Hamilton1471
Unassigned53122
Out of NY0166
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