New York expects 170,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses as soon as this weekend

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the state expects to receive 170,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as this weekend, with additional allocations arriving in the following weeks.

Nursing home residents and staff will be prioritized for vaccinations, following by “high-risk” hospital workers — emergency room workers, ICU staff and pulmonary department staff, Cuomo said. New York City will receive the most doses: about 72,000. 

The governor said the state is now starting to see full effect of the Thanksgiving COVID spread. More than 10,000 new cases were reported Tuesday, as well as 95 deaths. More than 4,990 people are currently hospitalized with the virus. 

Cuomo called the coming vaccine “the weapon that will win the war.”

Earlier this week, the governor laid out more plans to make sure hospitals in the state don’t become overwhelmed. He warned he may shut down indoor dining in New York City by the end of the week.

The governor said Monday every region in the state has five days to stabilize its hospitalization rate, CBS New York reported. If they don’t, regions outside the city would have to reduce indoor dining to 25% capacity. Restaurants in the city would have to suspend indoor dining indefinitely.

Pickup and delivery services would still be allowed, but there are caveats for other things. Outdoor dining would still be permitted, but officials say that in order to pass muster, a structure has to have two sides that are open. 

The governor said earlier this month that over 70% of cases could traced to small gatherings and households.

He called on hospitals to increase capacity by 25%. To maintain necessary staffing, the governor was also asking able, retired medical professionals to sign up to serve. He said that could increase staffing by 20,000.