New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Program Unveiled by Governor

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced the NYS Department of Health has released a draft COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Program that serves as an initial framework for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine in New York.

The draft program was developed in consultation with clinical and public health experts, and requires collaboration and partnership with local departments of health, community partners and organizations, and the federal government.

Given the many unknowns at this point in the vaccine development process, the draft New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Program is designed to be flexible and account for multiple variables and scenarios regarding vaccine availability, timeline for vaccine approval, delineation of federal and state responsibilities, funding, supply chain needs, and allocation requirements. 

“We are coming up with a plan on many presumptions. We don’t know how many doses we’re going to get. We don’t know what vaccine we’re going to get. We don’t know when we’re going to get it. The state will have a statewide vaccination plan. We will do it in concert with the federal government. The federal government is in charge of producing the actual vaccine and distributing the vaccines,” said Governor Cuomo. “States cannot do this on their own. Period. This is a massive undertaking. This is a larger operational undertaking than anything we have done under COVID to date. This is a more complicated undertaking and task. And we need the federal government to be a competent partner with this state and with every state.”

Following the state’s determination that the vaccine is safe and effective, the draft Vaccination Program prioritizes vaccination recipients based on science, clinical expertise, and public health. The plan puts forward the following proposed prioritization matrix to ensure those most at risk and essential workers are priority recipients, with particular attention paid to those living in communities with highest COVID prevalence.