A General Overview of New York State’s Vaccine Plan

Scientists Model Immune Variation and Responses to Flu Vaccination by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Scientists Model Immune Variation and Responses to Flu Vaccination” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ruby Sklar

In New York State there have been 1.18 million cases and 39,760 thousands deaths caused by the COVID-19, as of January 14. On December 11, 2020, the FDA granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The rapid spread of COVID-19 and introduction of the newly mutated UK  COVID-19 strain found in New York days ago is raising fear and increasing the pressure to distribute vaccines. On January 20,  president-elect Joe Biden’s plan for the vaccination of 100 million citizens in his first 100 days in office will commence. 


Last spring New York City locked down completely for 3 months leading to the public school closing, thousands becoming unemployed and businesses closing. The major economic loss and aburudities within society including the government’s effectiveness in stopping the spread and aiding those that suffered from the effects of COVID-19. The scientific community around the world united to find the vaccine resulting in the rapid creation and approval from the FDA. 


Starting last Monday January 11, 2021 phase 1 began. In phase 1, more than 7 million people are eligible to receive the vaccine, though the state receives 300,000 doses per week. In order to receive the vaccine people must determine whether they are eligible by filling out an Am I Eligible? App. Following approval of eligibility each person must fill out a Vaccine Form answering questions about their work in relation to the public service and the date of their first vaccine. When arriving at the vaccine appointment people must bring proof of their eligibility and must  make an appointment for a second vaccination in order to maximize effectiveness. 


Currently, health care workers, people aged 65 and over, and public employees  (for example, police officers , public school teachers and MTA employees) will primarily be vaccinated through their group’s relevant health programs or as organized by their unions


The New York health eligibility plan will move into phase b when frontline essential workers, determined by the state, and groups of people that are high risk. Phase C will likely begin in March or April 2021 people with specified underlying health conditions and all other essential workers will have access to the vaccine. Summer 2021 will start Phase 2 when all people will likely have access to the vaccine. 


The vaccine will eventually be distributed to the majority of the population, though it is not recommended for people under 18 years of age. Despite Pfizer and BioNTech’s recommendation that people under the age of 18 should not receive the vaccine, based on the data the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks. 


The mass vaccination campaign, combined with social distancing and masks, will minimize the spread of COVID-19. In an estimate of 3.5 months 100 million vaccines will be distributed to the public, steadying the influx of cases in the United States.