After tens of thousands of deaths over nine interminable months, a vaccine for the coronavirus might arrive in New York soon. Those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 could be among the first people to receive doses.
If federal regulators authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use, enough doses for 170,000 New York residents could arrive on Dec. 15, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a news conference on Wednesday.
And New York City is expected to have received around 480,000 doses by the beginning of January, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said. (There is likely some overlap between the doses the city and the state anticipate.)
Still, Mr. Cuomo warned of hard days to come. New hospitalizations for Covid-19 continue to rise, with 3,924 reported in the state on Wednesday, up from 3,774 reported the day before.
Also on Wednesday, New York City reported a seven-day test positivity rate of 4.8 percent — its highest rate since May 29.
“The vaccination program is really the endgame here."
Mr. Cuomo said, acknowledging that some people might be skeptical and initially resist taking a vaccine.
Here’s what you need to know:
Two vaccines might be shipped to New York soon.
The Food and Drug Administration first needs to approve the vaccines — one by Pfizer, and another by Moderna — for emergency use. It was not immediately clear when the Moderna vaccine would arrive in the state or how many people it could cover.
Both pharmaceutical companies have said trials show their vaccines are over 90 percent effective in fighting the coronavirus. Patients would need two doses.
The C.D.C. has recommended that nursing home residents and health workers get the first doses.
Mr. Cuomo said New York wanted to prioritize the vaccination of health care professionals, nursing home residents and essential workers, as well as residents of the hard-hit neighborhoods, most of whom are Black or Hispanic.
The first vaccines would likely go to the approximately 210,000 people who live or work in New York’s nursing homes. As of July, more than 6,400 nursing home residents had died from Covid-19.
The state has told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there are more than 800,000 critical health care workers in New York, and that they make up more than 4 percent of the population.
Getting all of those workers vaccinated could take awhile, experts said. That leaves the timeline for the average New Yorker largely unknown.