Cuomo announces 170K COVID vaccines to New York by mid-December

New York State will receive enough COVID-19 vaccines for 170,000 people by the middle of December, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.

The first batch of doses from Pfizer will go to nursing homes for residents and staff on December 15.

"You need 210,000," Cuomo said. "In two weeks, we are supposed to get a Moderna shipment which would be at least the 40,000, so between the 170,000 and the Moderna we would cover the entire nursing home."

British officials announced earlier in the day that they had granted Pfizer emergency use authorization of its vaccine, greenlighting the world’s first shot against the virus that’s backed by rigorous science and taking a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.

Pfizer said it was gearing up for a similar move in the U.S. if, given the nod by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a decision expected as early as next week.

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"And then there's another shipment of Pfizer coming, so it's on a rolling basis," Cuomo said during a news conference on the pandemic.

Early results during testing of the vaccine suggest it is 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19.

New York is in the midst of a resurgence of the virus with 3,924 people hospitalized across the state as of Tuesday, an increase of 150 people in a single day. There were 63 deaths reported and a statewide positivity rate of 4.63%. The governor said that New York City had 642 additional hospitalizations and Long Island had 366 over three weeks.

"Winning the war against COVID has to be an inclusive process and only by everyone working together will we be successful," Cuomo said. "While we continue to fight to make the federal plan more inclusive, effective and fair, New Yorkers need to do their part to help limit the spread."

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