NY – The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, criticized the federal government on Monday for extending the eligibility of vaccination against covid-19 to those over 65 without expanding the distribution of new doses and asked Pfizer to allow them to purchase the injections directly.
At a press conference, Cuomo harshly criticized the health secretary of the outgoing Administration, Alex Azar, whom he accused of “defrauding” public confidence and “creating chaos” by recommending vaccinating, not only all health personnel, but also those over 65, without expanding the number of doses assigned to each state.
“The federal government has increased eligibility dramatically, but has not increased the availability of doses,” explained Cuomo, who recalled that the federal Executive has created false expectations and that no new injections have been received and that at this rate it will take seven months to vaccinate the elderly.
Some 7 million New Yorkers are now in the priority population to receive the covid-19 vaccine, but the state has received 50,000 fewer doses this week than last.
Cuomo sent a letter to Azar to convey his complaints and assured that until now the federal government has been “incompetent” when it comes to coordinating the distribution of the expected vaccines, which Washington centralizes and that the states have the responsibility to administer.
The governor of New York said Monday that he has asked the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, manufacturer of one of the two vaccines approved by the United States, to allow them to purchase the doses directly.
Cuomo has chosen Pfizer and not Moderna for this petition, because the former has not been part of the federal Operation Warp Speed program, which has funded the research and production of some of the candidates.