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New York's Lieutenant Governor Details the State's Expectation for COVID-19 Vaccine

WAER File Photo

New York’s Lieutenant Governor is asking residents around the state to temper their expectations of the coronavirus vaccine.  The state conducted its own review of the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety and is ready to distribute as soon as possible. Kathy Hochul warns the first 170,000 doses headed to New York will go for front line medical workers primarily.  People should know that future supplies are coming, but not right away.

“It all hinges on availability.  We have a very aggressive plan for distribution. We already have that in place, it’s very exciting. This could’ve been happening a year from now or 2 years from now under normal circumstances. But by late spring or summer we should be able to vaccinate every New Yorker who wants to get it.” said Hochul.

Hochul warns people can’t back off of safety protocols yet, since COVID cases remain on the rise.  However, she praises residents for their behavior. New York has the fourth lowest positive test rate.  She’s also concerned about the economic impacts.  Hochul reminds businesses of state programs that protect against evictions and that still have loans or grant monies to help, but she says Washington needs to pass a stimulus now.

“Get them that money before the holidays are over because a lot of businesses have not been able to be open, especially the restaurants. You think about Armory Square in downtown Syracuse. That area took years to come back, and now it’s a vibrant community.  But all that progress can go backwards if these businesses can’t hang on.” said Hochul.

She adds the economic fallout will be seen in months to come in state and local budget gaps, as tax and other revenues have plummeted. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state's vaccine distribution plan on Wednesday.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.