ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Trump administration shifted gears on Tuesday, saying they will now open up their stockpile of required second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
These are doses that had been held back to ensure a second round or those who have already had their first. The move is more in line with President-elect Joe Biden’s plan which will basically help to double the supply.
The department of Health and Human Services is also asking states to expand their vaccination pool, including people ages 65 and older as well as younger people with underlying health issues.
During a phone press conference on Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the move would add up to 7 million New Yorkers who are now eligible to roll up their sleeves and receive a shot. But, he says this change is coming when the available supply of the vaccine has been comparatively low.
“We receive 300,000 dosages per week at 300,000 a week how do you effectively serve 7 Million people all of whom are now eligible without any priority?” asked Cuomo.
Cuomo has been under fire for initial restrictions on the vaccine, focusing mostly on healthcare workers, but he has since eased up on some of those. During the call with reporters, he said that with the way things stand, it would likely take several months for most eligible residents to get the vaccine.
“You are telling people today, ‘You are eligible.’ But you’re simultaneously telling people we don’t have enough dosages to get to you for the next six months. Is that helpful? I don’t think so,” Cuomo said. “I think it creates more frustration.”
And, what if you get your first dose, but have to hold off on a second one due to supply chain issues?NEWS10 posed that question to Dr. Alan Sanders, Chief Medical Officer for Acute Care at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.
“Any time you delay a second dose or a booster dose of a vaccination it really disables the body from having full antibody impact that one needs to get long-standing immunity,” Dr. Sanders said.