Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in New York has continue to increase each day this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as 430,000 shots have been administered in the last month.
The first phase of the vaccine distribution has covered health care workers, while a federally administered effort is vaccinating nursing home residents and staff. The state is also expanding its role to vaccinate nursing home facilities this week.
Daily vaccinations have grown from 30,000 on Monday and Tuesday to more than 50,000 doses on Thursday, Cuomo said.
Cuomo this week has sought to push hospitals who have the predominant distributor of vaccines for health care workers to increase the pace, threatening fines and re-allocations of doses that are not used.
"We have mixed performance by hospitals across the state in doing the hospital workers," Cuomo said. "We have some hospitals that are still lagging and we have some hospitals that are doing much, much better. I think they heard me on Monday. We have seen a dramatic increase in their performance. They were doing 10,000 vaccinations per day."
The next phase or "1b" of the distribution will cover essential workers like teachers, police officers and firefighters as well as people over age 75.
That is a significantly larger pool of people than the 2.1 million health care workers covered under the first phase. The state has about 900,000 doses of the vaccine on hand; Cuomo estimated the "low end" of vaccines for leaving phase 1a would be about 1.2 million doses.
"The supply is so far behind the distribution," he said.
State officials want some unions that represent teachers, police and firefighters to begin their own self-administration program of the vaccine once eligible.