We want to get shots in arms as fast as possible, but our biggest constraint at the moment is the limited vaccine supply from the federal government. We have our distribution network up and running and are working to expand it every day—but we can only vaccinate as many New Yorkers as we have supply for. There are around 7 million New Yorkers who are eligible for the vaccine but New York only receives 300,000 doses per week, and the next weekly allocation from the federal government will be even less: just 250,000 doses. Due to this limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly, which I recognize is frustrating for so many New Yorkers who want to get the vaccine as soon as they can. If you are currently eligible for the vaccine, I urge you to call your local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments. To determine eligibility and schedule an appointment at a State-run vaccination site, use the "Am I Eligible" tool. I appreciate everyone's patience as we wait for more federal supply.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Coronavirus Newsletter will not publish on Monday, January 18th, in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We will resume on Tuesday, January 19th.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The first five "community vaccination kits" were deployed to New York City Housing Authority locations. Community vaccination kits have been assembled by the state to help ensure that residents of under-served areas have equal access to the vaccine. The kits include workstation equipment, medical supplies, room dividers, privacy curtains and more. The five kits that were deployed today will be used to vaccinate eligible residents at NYCHA buildings (New York City's public housing authority).
2. Total hospitalizations fell to 8,808. Of the 324,671 tests reported yesterday, 19,942, or 6.14 percent, were positive. There were 1,570 patients in ICU yesterday, up 34 from the previous day. Of them, 962 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 183 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. Another State-run vaccination site opened in Albany today. The new site, located on SUNY Albany's campus, will be joined in the weeks ahead by additional State-operated sites in every region of the state. Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, if available, please use the State's "Am I Eligible" tool or call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829). Appointments to receive a second dose will be scheduled in-person immediately after an individual receives the first dose. New Yorkers should not attempt to book their second appointment online.
4. So far, New York's health care distribution sites have administered 75 percent of doses received from the federal government. In total 699,063 doses of the vaccine have been administered—of these, 623,172 doses are first doses and 75,891 are second doses. (This number excludes doses that have been set aside for the federally-run Long Term Care Facility vaccination program.)
5. An additional case of the UK variant has been found in New York. This new case was identified in Nassau County. To date, there are now 16 known cases of the more contagious virus strain in New York.
6. Yesterday, New York State reported 324,671 COVID tests, a record high. Remember, testing is open to any New Yorker. Getting tested frequently allows us to identify positive cases so we can stop the spread. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone positive for COVID, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to make a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Every year, Animal Planet hosts their "Puppy Bowl" on the day of the Super Bowl. For the 17th annual game, on Sunday, February 7th, two puppies from the great State of New York have made the roster to play. The puppies, Yogi and Bailey, from Paws Crossed Animal Rescue in Elmsford, NY, will play for the "Lombarky" trophy. While Yogi and Bailey have both been adopted already, the Puppy Bowl will feature other rescues up for adoption from across the nation.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo